Conflict in comedy, Characters in Shakespeare and...

Conflict in a comedy

Shakespeare's most famous and great comic character, Falstaff, was born not in comedy, but in the chronicle, in order to be expelled from the final. Time in the chronicle is not only a law of change, but also a certain order of the history of the state. In this sense, historical Time is alien to the carnival consciousness. That's why Prince Harry was so amazed when Falstaff inquired from him, which is now the hour - the first words uttered by Falstaff. As in the case of many of Shakespeare's characters, the first phrase serves as the key to understanding the whole character:

Falstaff. What time is it, Harry?

Prince. ... I understand that if the clock were glasses of wine, minutes - fried chickens, pendulum clatter - the chatter of servants, dials - signs of restaurants, and the most gracious sun - a kind hot girl in a fiery red taffeta, the time of day would be close to you. And then what do you care? ( Henry IV & quot ;, part one, I, sc., 2).

The prince is accurate in his assessment: Falstaff falls into the chronicle as if by mistake - from a comedy where Shakespeare is dominated not by Time, but Nature in its eternal life cycle. Natural life does not belong to Time, but Eternity. For man, death means an end, and for Nature - a rebirth to a new life. However, a person can live according to this law, but only so long as he does not exist as a separate person, but as a part of the whole - a kind that continues in his collective being. The expression of this life is a carnival, a festive renewal, where laughter disappears with the past.

L. E. Pinskiy accurately called the chapter on Falstaff: "History and Nature before the mutual court." First, Nature in the person of Falstaff works judgment and helps Time to clear the traces of the past. Then, the verdict is made by History and establishes a distinction between natural freedom and the state order. Falstaff, who does not know how to comply with this order, was sent into exile by a young king. Falstaff did not take root and could not take root in the chronicle: he absolutely does not know how to exist according to the laws of any order, to live in historical Time; he has another element - natural, subordinate to the needs of the flesh. It is logical that Falstaff, born in the chronicle, continued to exist in the comedy. He himself pronounces this word under the curtain, explaining the abdication of the king, supposedly just not willing to immediately open on people in their former and unchanging affection. But Judge Schellow prophetically predicted: "How would this comedy lasted until your death."

Indeed, the further fate of Falstaff - to change the genre. He will once again appear in the Windsor Mockers & quot ;, written simultaneously with Henry V (1598-1599) and, as they say, the order of the Queen's order. There is an opinion that there is another character working there, who only retained the name, thickness, vices, but devoid of wit and his evil charm. No, he's the same - and in the basket with dirty laundry. Its role has changed.

Falstaff - jester in terms of his theatrical role and depends on what he makes fun of. In the chronicle, he the jester of Time, under whose laughter they bury an era: he himself staged a theatrical wake with Gottsper's body. Shakespeare's laughter is the last powerful rendition of laughter in the culture, and Falstaff is her main character. A laughing culture, by the definition of M. M. Bakhtin, in his carnival guise is the second life of the people, opposing the hierarchical order of official life. Laughter overturns dogmas, illusions burst from it, sometimes it sounds mocking, but most of all this laughter brings back to earth, reminding of the natural and human. Falstaff changes not because he is thrown out with dirty clothes, but because he is thrown out of historical time life, from the chronicle - into a comedy where his common sense is opposed not to the ghost of knightly Honor, but to the same, only stronger and honest, common sense of respectable citizens. Falstaff was removed from his ritual humorous role and with it lost his exclusive rights to laugh; debunked, he turned into an object of ridicule.

However, Shakespeare's comedy was not satirical in the nature of its laughter, and this sharply differed from all subsequent development of the genre. Shakespeare's comedy is laughable by nature, equally debunking and life-affirming. Comic in Shakespeare is often a decline in the topic, as befits a genre, but in general his comedy does not look like a low genre, for it has a great theme - Nature. This puts Shakespeare- comediograph in isolation in the history of the genre.

Early comedies created during the 1590s can be identified by the name of the very first of them - Error Comedy (1592-1594). What is happening in it does not contradict the harmony of the world: the ties have not disintegrated, they are only slightly shifted. But this is fixable, because random misunderstanding, misunderstanding, unrecognition can be eliminated.

If the basis of the "Error Comedy there were samples of ancient Roman comedy, The Taming of the Shrew (1593-1594) indicates the connection of Shakespeare's laughter with the diverse tradition of folk drama, with carnival. It is not too difficult to tame the rebel, if it's not about her character - strong, devoid of pettiness, and therefore, on the verge of being less obstinate than many other heroines - but in the fact that the tamer has not yet been found. Grooms of Bianchi? They are impossible next to Katarina. We need another person. Petruchcho came, and everything fell into place. In this comedy everything is presented with a carnival surplus: both the initial obstinacy of the wife, and the tyranny of the husband as a remedy for her, and, finally, the morality under the curtain. Without an amendment to carnivalism, neither the re-education of the heroine nor the edifying speech she uttered as a lesson to other obstinists can be perceived. Otherwise, as modern feminist criticism does, "The Taming of the Shrew" would have to be interpreted either as a rectilinear glorification of the male power, or as a hidden satire for such an imperious claim.

Shakespeare's comic characters, unlike the masks of comedy del arte or the one-dimensionality of classic characters, retain the right to surprise the act, the ability to go beyond the mask or change it. Mask Shakespeare does not replace faces, does not become a face, but rather closes it and makes you think about what is hidden there, what is the true meaning of the person. In the "Taming of the Shrew", this early, written one of the first, Shakespearean comedies, claimed a popular Renaissance idea, after several years inscribed over the entrance to the theater "Globe": "The whole world is a theater" ( But before Shakespeare made this idea the motto of his theater, he made it the motto of his work. Evidence of this is the "Taming of the Shrew", and "The Midsummer Night's Dream" - brilliant examples of an early comic manner.

Judging by the name - "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (1595-1596), the time of action of the comedy coincides with the folk festival - June 24, ie. the night before Ivan Kupala, when the most wonderful and unprecedented happen, when the natural world comes to life and especially attracts a man. The comedy begins with the expectation of the upcoming wedding of the Athenian king Theusa (Theseus) with the queen of the Amazons defeated by Hippolytus. With a complaint about her daughter Hermias to Theusa, the notable citizen of the city, Aegeus, speaks: Hermia loves Lysander, and her father is loved by Demetrius. For us, spectators, these two young men are surprisingly indistinguishable, all equal: age, position, virtues. It remains to assume that one is chosen by the whim of love, and the other by a parental whim. The first will win, because the play tells about the whims of love feelings, about its right, confirmed by the miracle of nature, which is here materialized by the magic world of the forest, where loving and unloved run away from Athens. In the same place, in the woods, the rehearsals of the play about Piram and Fizbe are performed by the Athenian artisans, who started to take part in the celebrations on the occasion of the ducal wedding. This whole plot line is a reception of the play in the play, parodically complicated by the fact that this time the commoners have taken up the theatrical business, whose ideas are formed by the practice of the previous shakespeare of a loud recitation tragedy. The forest kingdom of magical creatures, spiritualizing their presence in the night nature, is the third plot of the comedy. The magical world of the forest, where Oberon and Titania rule, is also engulfed by strife due to the quarrel between its rulers. However, all quarrels and misunderstandings will end with peace.

A "Midsummer Night's Dream" - one of the most light, musical, elegant comedies of Shakespeare. It seems that it arose just as easily, on a single inspirational breath. Perhaps it was so. But then Shakespeare's other ability - to bring together the story material from various sources (folklore, antiquity, chivalry), and on its basis create a completely original and masterful work, is striking.

The situation of comedy tends to resolve, a happy ending, if it is based on obstacles random and removable: errors, misunderstandings, unrecognitions; in a word, when the case lies at the heart of the comic conflict. The nature of the genre conflict begins to change by the end of the century. In the same year of 1599, when the Shakespearean company moved to the "Globe", William Kemp, an actor of an old manner inclined to rough improvisational jokes, Robert Robert moved to the role of the leading comedian, giving preference to more subtle intellectual humor. For him, Shakespeare writes the roles of his jesters.

The donkey ( How you like it , 1599) is the first in the Shakespearean clown series. He has a speaking name: Touchstone, what in English means "sloppy", literally - a stone on which sharpened sharp objects. At his first appearance, he finds Celia, the daughter of the ruling duke, and Rosalind, her cousin and daughter of the exiled duke, practicing wit. So his coming is very welcome. As Celia says, Fortune herself "sent us a fool as a shred: for dullness of fools always serves as a grindstone for wit" (Translated by T. Schepkina-Kupernik, I, Sci. 2). The stupid craft, however, requires a great mind, which Oselok also possesses in full, regretting when his mouth is shut, for the reason that "fools can not be clever about the silly things that smart people do." This is one of his first perceptive witticisms, changing the places of conventional wisdom about the mind and stupidity.

The Oselok possesses not only the mind, but also the heart. He loves his master's daughter, Celia, and goes with her to voluntary exile after Rosalind, who became another victim of the suspicion of the duke-usurper. In the Ardennes forest, Oselok finds the most grateful and understanding connoisseur of his jokes - the melancholic philosopher Jacques, who likes to speculate about the transience of being. Oselok admires him with his ability to clothe similar thoughts in brief formulas, which Jacques retells to others: "So from an hour to an hour we ripen,/And after an hour and an hour - gnome./That's the whole tale ( And so from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe,/And then from hour to hour, we rot and rot; ", II, sc 7) .

The jester stands outside the social hierarchy, for what kind of a fool can it occupy (and this word is fool - define the buffoonery profession)? But precisely because of its non-hierarchical position, the jester is free-to tell the truth, to raise the masks with which people hide the real motives of their actions and actions, to think about the essence of life itself, asking uncomfortable questions. For example, if Jacques mocks the idyllic pastoral of the Ardennes forest with his melancholy, then Osellok quite frankly doubts the happy advantages of the pastoral life: "To tell the truth, shepherd, in itself, she's a good life; but since she is a shepherd's life, she does not cost anything ... (III, Sci-2).

In the comedy Much Ado About Nothing ", immediately preceding the comedy" As You Like It ", there is no jester, but there is a brilliantly witty couple - Beatrice and Benedict performing the function of a semantic verification of the language, an unexpected rethinking of everyday words, in which wit reveals new possibilities for himself, rechecking the meaning of all concepts and phenomena.

The role of the Festa clown in "The Twelfth Night" is also associated with the appearance of Armin. Perhaps Shakespeare does not have another comedy in which the comic theme would sound in such diverse registers. This is determined by its intermediate position between the light romantic world of the early and dramatic character of the late comedies. In it there is the intricacies of love disregard and intellectual foolishness of Festus, the satirical grotesque of Malvolio and the farcical farce.

The farcical hero is Sir Toby, although his role is broader: he is a necessary link between characters of different types, different social status. He himself belongs to the number of titled clowns, whose reduced comedy is determined by the lowliness of its social status, and a vital role. If jesters make you laugh and think, clowns become an object of laughter due to your brainlessness or intimacy. Sir Toby is one of Shakespeare's Falstaff, degenerated into a purely farcical figure. Like most Falstaff, Sir Toby does not know the time (I, Sci. 1), recalling the pagan element of carnival life. However, with his participation, the carnival (once representing the second life of the people, the lumen through which the eternity of being sketches in the rifts of the medieval hierarchy) turned into a hopelessness of never ending drunkenness. Drinking, Sir Toby likes to laugh. The main hero of his jokes is Sir Andrew Egyuchyk, who pays for their joint drinking, as he is encouraged by Sir Toby to win the hand of his niece Olivia, who appears in action as a hermit lamenting the death of her brother, and comes to the end transformed by love.

Finding one's essence through love is the main topic of the Renaissance literature. In the Twelfth Night it is transformed into a comic key, highlighted in several parallel plots that constitute the twist of the whole play. Olivia, in whom the duke is in love, initially rejects the love of others, together with her rejecting life itself. Then she is ready to leave her voluntary solitude, but for the time being she falsely guesses her future hero in the personality of his disguised sister. Then Sebastian comes and immediately responds to Olivia's passion, not noticing her mistake: the fact that the words of love are not meant for him, but for his disguised sister Viole. However, this new error turns into a true recognition, which will happen, however, only after Olivia and Sebastian are married.

Comedy requires a happy ending and it always reaches, but it sounds less convincing. "All is well that ends well" - Shakespeare approves the name of one of his later (1602-1603) comedies. He is objected: the happy end, implied by the genre of comedy, does not convince that harmony is restored, for its violations were no longer accidental. It's one thing - obstinacy, unrecognition, or even father's whim. But how to believe that the duke is a usurper, from the villainy and anger of which the characters flee to the Ardennes forest, now not having enchanting wonders, but melancholy seclusion, that this duke himself will appear guilty and repentant ("How do you like it")? Or how can one believe that the defeated is a persistent social prejudice - an insulted sense of noble pride, through which Bertram, Count of Roussillon, must march on the royal order, the wife of the healer ("All is well that ends well")? Justice will be restored, but it's already frankly poetic justice, a happy ending, written down for a too happy history. The discord deepened, the conflict entered into characters, circumstances.

Not inclined to the nature of his laughter to create a satirical comedy, Shakespeare nevertheless increasingly admits a satirical image of at least individual characters. One of the most memorable is the butler Malvolio ("The Twelfth Night"). It is assumed that, portraying him, Shakespeare sketched one of the first sketches to a portrait of a religious sanctimon and a fanatic-puritan. However, the sharp-tongued servant of Viola Maria warns us to make this mistake, arguing that "no feature" Malvolio is not a puritan. This refutation implies that in Malvolio the human type is depicted much more general and eternal - the character of the hypocrite. However, one can not lose sight of the fact that this eternal character in this case was created in the beginning the new century, when it acquires the significance of an epochal vice, which ranks in the garb of a new religion and new morality. This is a sketch for the image of Tartuffe, under the guise of which the features of religious hypocrisy (irrespective of whether puritanical or any other) are also discernible so early, and the vanity of new people emerging from the bottom and stubbornly looking to the social upper.

In a changing life, a person more and more consciously chooses his place and the corresponding role in order to strictly adhere to it. In any case, this is how the comediographs that replace Shakespeare: in England - Ben Johnson, in France - Molière, evaluate the changes taking place with a person. The difference between comic character in them and in Shakespeare commemorated AS Pushkin, comparing Tartuffe with Shakespeare's Shylock and Angelo (see the section "Materials and Documents"), Shylock is the hero of the play "The Venetian Merchant" (1596-1597). Angelo is the hero of the comedy & "Measure for Measure" (1604), which is sometimes called the last in Shakespeare. Both plays only by virtue of a happy ending are suitable iodine genre definition of comedy.

In the "Venetian Merchant" already directly appear heroes, breaking the genre. This is the merchant Antonio, amazed by some unreasonable melancholy, and even more so - the Jewish merchant Shylock, written as if for one purpose: to show how different one and the same person can be, what extremes converge in his nature. The character of Shylock is certainly tragic. Comparing the "Venetian Merchant" with the simultaneous creation of the early tragedy "Romeo and Juliet", it is sometimes said that the first is a comedy with a tragic hero, the second is a tragedy in which the tragic hero still does not exist. It is implied in this case that the tragic hero, as Shakespeare creates it, is a man not only put in tragic circumstances, but also internally struck by the complexity and injustice of the world that he revealed. In the genre of comedy, he is in Shakespeare earlier, because the first stage of his creative evolution, the 1590s, is associated precisely with comedies and chronicles. A mature tragedy will come as a result of this development and begin with "Hamlet".


Shakespeare's comedy:

laughing trunk topic

non-sentimental jesters

Dramatic Clowns

Materials and documents

Characters in Shakespeare and Moliere

The persons created by Shakespeare are not the same as Moliere's, the types of such a passion, such a blemish, but the beings are alive, full of many

Passions, many vices; circumstances develop in front of the viewer their diverse and versatile characters. Moliere's Miser is stingy-and only; In Shakespeare, Shylock is stingy, smart, vindictive, childish, witty. Moliere has a hypocrite trailing behind his wife's benefactor, hypocritical; accepts the estate for preservation, hypocrisy; asks a glass of water, hypocritical. In Shakespeare, a hypocrite pronounces a judicial sentence with vainglorious severity, but it is just; he justifies his cruelty with a profound judgment of the state man; he seduces innocence with powerful and fascinating sophisms, not a funny mixture of piety and red tape. Angelo is a hypocrite - because his vowel actions are against the secret passions! And what a depth in this character!

Also We Can Offer!

Other services that we offer

If you don’t see the necessary subject, paper type, or topic in our list of available services and examples, don’t worry! We have a number of other academic disciplines to suit the needs of anyone who visits this website looking for help.

How to ...

We made your life easier with putting together a big number of articles and guidelines on how to plan and write different types of assignments (Essay, Research Paper, Dissertation etc)