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Shakespeare As A Modern Comedy

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William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright and actor. He is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon." Shakespeare has written many plays during his time. He wrote poems, tragedies, and of course some of his most known plays are comedies. What made Shakespeare so popular? Why are his comedies so well known? How did his way of writing comedies form the way others wrote and continue to write in the years after him? These are some questions many educators and students want to understand while studying Shakespeare. Focusing on his writing within his most popular comedies, Shakespeare has formed literature into what it is today. When the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays, the First Folio, was published in 1623, its contents page divided them into three categories: comedies, histories and, tragedies. The list of comedies included Measure for Measure and The Merchant of Venice, plays that modern audiences and readers have not found particularly funny. Also included were two late plays, The Tempest and The Winter’s Tale, that critics often now classify as “romances” (Mullan). If we ask ourselves what these four plays have in common with those such as As You Like It or Twelfth Night; which we are used to calling comedies, the answer gives us a clue to the meaning of “comedy” for many of Shakespeare’s educated contemporaries. All of them
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