Shakespearean Comedy In Much Ado About Nothing And Pericles

2008 Words9 Pages
The genre of comedy as it is known today is a genre which has undergone consistent change since its first recorded appearances in ancient Greece around two millennia ago. What began as a humorous structural pattern for songs and stories eventually led to the more ironic and potentially tragic structure of Shakespearean comedy which, despite having been created only 400 years ago, is in many ways already structurally different from the modern comedic genre. There are even plays within the Shakespearean genre itself that are structurally different at times, from the ‘traditional’ comedies such as Much Ado About Nothing to the ‘tragicomedies’ or ‘romances’ such as Pericles. Nonetheless, both Much Ado About Nothing and Pericles employ similar comedic conventions to construct characters, plot structures, and moods that ultimately fit the ideal Shakespearean comedy. It is the goal of this paper to examine the plays Much Ado About Nothing and Pericles in order to explore what connects these opposing ends of the Shakespearean comic spectrum and what separates them so as to gain a deeper understanding of the conventions of Shakespearean comedy. A comedic convention which can easily be compared between Much Ado About Nothing and Pericles is the character tropes employed in both plays. The ‘lovers’ trope is perhaps the most notable character trope employed by both plays. In Much Ado About Nothing, two pairs of lovers are established by the end of the first act: Hero and Claudio and

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