Shakespeare's Plays - Comedies

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Shakespeare's Plays - Comedies

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAMIn A Midsummer Night’s Dream, there are two stories going on at the same time in two worlds: the mortal world and the mythical world of the fairies. A young woman named Hermia is in love with a man named Lysander, and Lysander also loves Hermia. Hermia’s friend Helena loves a man named Demetrius, but he loves Hermia. Egeus, Hermia’s father, wants Hermia to marry Demetrius, and tells her that if she does not comply, she either faces the death penalty or must become a nun. The defiant Hermia elopes with Lysander into the woods. Helena and Demetrius chase after them. Meanwhile, Oberon and Titania, King and Queen of the Fairies, have an argument. Oberon plans revenge on Titania by ordering his servant, Puck to put love juice on Titania’s eyelids when she is asleep so when she wakes up she falls in love with the first living being she sees and stays in love until she takes the antidote to the love drops. Oberon then witnesses Demetrius turn Helena down and tells Puck to put the potion on Demetrius’ eyelids as well so when he wakes up he falls in love with Helena. However Puck put the potion on Lysander’s eyes instead. Lysander wakes up and falls in love with Helena, and stuns Hermia when he turns her down. Amidst all of this, a group of woodworkers are in the woods. Puck plays a trick on one of them, Bottom, and gives him a donkey head. Coincidentally, Queen Titania wakes up and the first thing she sees is Bottom, subsequently falling in love with him. King Oberon is amused, but is annoyed when he realizes Puck’s mistake with the Athenians. He personally gives Demetrius the potion and makes sure that he sees Helena first. Now Helena is pursued desperately by two men, neither of whom loved her before, and is feeling mocked. King Oberon finally decides to stop the ‘entertainment’ by first giving Queen Titania the antidote and transforming Bottom back to a human being. He then gives Lysander the antidote so he can continue loving Hermia and Demetrius can continue loving Helena.

TWELFTH NIGHTA young woman named Viola shipwrecks onto the shore and survives with the help of a captain. After losing contact with her brother Sebastian, she disguises herself as a young man named Cesario. She then starts working for Duke Orsino, who falls in love with Olivia. Olivia's brother and father have also died. The duke then uses Cesario as an intermediary to confess his love before Olivia. However, Olivia falls in love with Cesario on first sight, but Cesario has fallen in love with Duke Orsino, thus creating a love triangle. Several people close to Olivia tries to convince Malvolio Olivia is in love with him. Then one night Sir Andrew and Sir Toby drink at Olivia's house until late at night. This forces Malvolio to drive the men out of his house. Malvolio and the gentlemen then start an argument. The gentlemen eventually leave, but plans revenge on Malvolio. They take revenge by asking Maria to write a love letter in Olivia's handwriting to Malvolio. The letter asks Malvolio to wear cross-gartered yellow stockings to be rude and to smile in Olivia's presence. Malvolio then acts this out in front of Olivia to show his positive response. Olivia is then shocked by Malvolio's sudden change of behaviour and thinks him insane. She then leaves him to Feste, Sir Toby, and Sir Andrew. The two gentlemen then lock Malvolio up as an excuse because he is "insane." Feste then visits Malvolio in jail and teases him and calls Malvolio insane.Sebastian then comes into the scene as he was saved by captain Antonio as well. Olivia then mistakes Sebastian for Cesario and asks him to marry her. They get married in a church, but Cesario and Sebastian then meet Orsino and Olivia in person. This then adds more confusion to the marriage. Cesario then admits that she is a in fact a woman (Viola), and Viola and Duke Orsino then get married. Sir Toby marries Maria, and Malvolio swears revenge on Sir Andrew and Sir Toby, but Duke Orsino asks Fabian to confront Malvolio.

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHINGLeonato, a nobleman, lives in the Italian town of Messina with his daughter, Hero, his clever niece, Beatrice, and his elderly brother, Antonio (Beatrice's father). At the beginning of the play, Don Pedro, a close friend of Leonato, returns from war and visits Leonato’s house, along with two fellow soldiers, Claudio and Benedick. Claudio is a respected young nobleman, and Benedick is a witty young man. Don John, Don Pedro’s unpleasant brother, comes along as well, intending to create trouble for the others.When the soldiers arrive at Leonato’s home, Claudio immediately falls in love with Hero. Meanwhile, Benedick and Beatrice insult each other wittily. Soon, Claudio and Hero declare that they love each other and decide to get married. To pass the time in the week before the wedding, they decide to trick Beatrice and Benedick, who are clearly meant for each other, to stop arguing and fall in love instead. Their tricks are successful, and soon, Beatrice and Benedick secretly fall in love.Don John has his companion Borachio make love to Margaret, Hero’s serving woman, at Hero’s window in the darkness of the night, and brings Don Pedro and Claudio to watch. This leads Claudio to believe that Hero was unfaithful to him, and he humiliates Hero by accusing her of being wanton on the day of their wedding. He leaves her at the altar. Hero’s devastated family decides to pretend that she died suddenly of shock and grief, and they hide her away while waiting for the truth about her innocence to come to light. Meanwhile, Benedick and Beatrice finally confess their love for one another.Later, watchmen overhear Borachio bragging about his crime, and the local police arrest Borachio along with another of Don John’s followers. Everyone learns that Hero is really innocent, and Claudio is grief-stricken, believing that she is dead.Leonato then forces Claudio to tell everybody in the city how innocent Hero was, and asks Claudio to marry Leonato’s “niece”, who Leonato claims looks very similar to Hero. Claudio agrees. The “niece” is revealed to be Hero, and as Claudio and Hero are reunited, Benedick and Beatrice announce that they will share the wedding day. Don John is captured while trying to escape, and the play ends as the two couples celebrate their joint wedding.



AS YOU LIKE IT Orlando is ill-treated by his brother Oliver. During a wrestling match between the court wrestler and Orlando, Rosalind, the duke’s brother’s daughter, falls in love with Orlando and he falls in love with her as well. The current duke, Duke Frederick, suddenly banishes Rosalind from the court. She leaves with the duke’s daughter, Celia, who is her favourite cousin, and the court jester, Touchstone to find her father, Duke Senior. Senior is the rightful duke, who was overthrown by Frederick, and now he lives in the forest. Rosalind disguises herself as a country boy, Ganymede and Celia dresses up as a shepherdess, Aliena. At the same time, Orlando, afraid for his life, escapes into the same forest with a servant, Adam.Orlando and Adam find Duke Senior in his forest camp and the former duke helps them survive. Orlando starts hanging love poems to Rosalind on trees and Rosalind and Celia find them. Masquerading as Ganymede, Rosalind starts ‘curing Orlando of lovesickness’. Rosalind and Celia also find a shepherd, Silvius who loves Phoebe, who doesn’t love him back. Phoebe, however, falls for Ganymede/Rosalind. Meanwhile back at court, Oliver is ordered to find the runaways in the forest. In the forest, Oliver saves Orlando from a lioness. Orlando leads Oliver to the rest of the group and Celia and Oliver instantly fall in love with each other. Rosalind decides to end the confusion and gets rid of her disguise. Celia follows suit. In the end, Rosalind marries Orlando, Celia marries Oliver and Silvius marries Phoebe. The play ends when Duke Frederick decides to become a hermit and gives the throne to Duke Senior.

THE COMEDY OF ERRORSAccording to the law in Ephesus, Syracusan traders are not allowed to enter Ephesus. An elderly Syracusan trader called Egeon is discovered and has to either be executed or pay 1000 marks. Egeon told his very unfortunate life story to Solinus, Duke of Ephesus. The duke, moved by his story, granted Egeon one more day to pay his fine.That same day, Antipholus of Syracuse arrives in Ephesus, searching for his brother. He sends Dromio of Syracuse to deposit some money at The Centaur, an inn. He is confounded when the identical Dromio of Ephesus appears almost immediately, denying any knowledge of the money and asking him home to dinner, where his wife is waiting. Antipholus, thinking his servant is making insubordinate jokes, beats Dromio of Ephesus.Dromio of Ephesus returns to his mistress, Adriana, saying that her "husband" refused to come back to his house, and even pretended not to know her. Adriana, concerned that her husband's eye is straying, takes this news as confirmation of her suspicions.Antipholus of Syracuse meets up with Dromio of Syracuse, who says he didn’t make a joke about his wife. Antipholus begins to beat Dromio, but when Adriana runs up to them and tells Antipholus not to leave her, Dromio and Antipholus go out with Adriana, one keeping the gate and the other going out for dinner.Inside the house, Antipholus finds that he is actually very attracted to his ‘wife’s’ sister, and she knows that as well, but she is afraid of any moral implications Antipholus’ “wife” might get. After exiting, Dromio says he has a wife, a relatively ugly kitchen maid called Nell. The Syracusans leave as soon as possible and Dromio announces that he has travel plans. Antipholus is apprehended by Angelo of Ephesus and he says that Antipholus ordered a gold chain. He is forced to accept it and Angelo says he will return for his payment.Antipholus demands a rope from Dromio so that he could beat Adriana for locking him out, so he goes and finds it. During this time, Antipholus is found by Angelo and is arrested. Dromio returns to Antipholus, and he asks him to go to Adriana’s for the bail.After doing so, Dromio accidentally delivers the money to Antipholus, and The Courtesan finds Antipholus’ gold necklace and questions him. The Syracusans deny everything and flee. Dromio hands Antipholus the rope. Adriana, Luciana, The Courtesan and a conjurer named Pinch, try to exorcise the Ephesians, who are taken to Adriana’s house. The Syracusans enter with swords, and everyone flees thinking they are the Ephesians somehow escaping their bindings. Adriana returns with henchmen, binding the Syracusans. They are brought to a nearby priory, where the Abbess guards them.Suddenly, the Abbess enters with the Syracusan twins, and everyone begins to understand the confused events of the day. Not only are the two sets of twins reunited, but the Abbess reveals that she is Egeon's wife, Emilia of Babylon. The Duke pardons Egeon. All exit into the abbey to celebrate the reunification of the family.

SHAKESPEARE'S COMEDIES - AN OVERVIEWDuring Shakespeare's time, the comedies were often very simple. Many consisted of similar key aspects, which included:- Deceptive character identities- Arguments between characters- Climaxes with a twist- Multiple plots going on at the same time- Happy endings

THE TAMING OF THE SHREWThe main plot of The Taming of the Shrew lies in a play within the play.At the beginning of the main plot, a student named Lucentio arrives in Padua, Italy. He hears that the merchant Baptista Minola has two daughters, and that the younger daughter, Bianca, cannot be married before her strong-willed and uncooperative sister, Katherina. Lucentio falls in love with Bianca as soon as he sees her, and changes identities with his servant Tranio to woo her.Bianca already has two suitors, but is not interested in either of them. The elderly suitor, Gremio, hires Lucentio, disguised as a Latin tutor, to woo Bianca on his behalf, while the other suitor, Hortensio, pretends to be a musician to get access to her.Meanwhile, a young traveller from Verona named Petruchio arrives to visit his friend Hortensio. Petruchio soon learns about Katherina and decides to woo her with the help of both Gremio and Hortensio. Baptista is hopeful that Petruchio’s endeavors will succeed, as opinionated Katherina is a burden to him and constantly argues with both Bianca and him. Petruchio refuses to be put off as he woos Katherina. He fixes their wedding day almost immediately.At the church, where Kate unhappily waits for him, Petruchio arrives in a ridiculous outfit. After the wedding, he leaves for his home in Verona with his new wife. As soon as they arrive, Kate is mistreated by him and his servants, denied even food and sleep as Petruchio tries to teach her to obey him. He also does not allow her to buy new clothes or a hat. Eventually, worn down by her husband’s stubbornness and eccentricity, Kate submits to him.The newly-wed Kate and Petruchio leave for Padua to visit Kate’s father. On their way there, they meet Vincentio, Lucentio’s father. The three have a strange conversation, as Petruchio attempts to test Kate’s obedience. Meanwhile, in Padua, Hortensio has married a rich widow after being rejected by Bianca, and Baptista is been tricked into believing a passing stranger is Tranio’s rich father. Vincentio attempts to make sense of the bizarre situation as his son Lucentio returns from a secret wedding with Bianca.At the end of the play, Baptista holds a wedding feast for both his daughters. After the meal is finished, the other characters are shocked to see that Katherine seems to have been “tamed”, as she obeys Petruchio completely. Everyone is still slightly skeptical, so they devise a contest to see which of Bianca, Kate and the widow (newly married to Hortensio) will obey first when summoned by their husbands. Everyone expects Bianca and Lucentio to win. However, Bianca sends a message back refusing to obey, while Katherine comes as soon as she is summoned. She then gives a long speech on the importance of loyalty of wives to their husbands.Everyone acknowledges that Petruchio has won an astounding victory, and Kate and Petruchio happily leave the banquet and go home.

SHAKESPEARE'S PLAYS - AN OVERVIEWShakespeare wrote a variety of plays such as ''histories'' which included historical facts in his plays, for example, Henry IV, Part IHenry IV, Part IIHenry VHenry VI, Part IHenry VI, Part IIHenry VI, Part IIIHenry VIIIKing JohnPericlesRichard IIandRichard III. Some were ''tragedies'' which involve a character in trouble and a mess, then eventually dying, or is involved in a tragedy. Examples are Antony and CleopatraCoriolanusCymbelineHamletJulius CaesarKing LearMacbethOthelloRomeo and JulietTimon of AthensTitus AndronicusandTroilus and Cressida. Some of his plays were ''comedies''- this usually involves in character's parents pressuring the characters and the characters overcoming the problem, the characters accidently marrying one another (deception), a plot twist, a use of slapstick, puns, dry humour, earthy humour, witty banter, practical, and a happy ending. Some examples are All's Well That Ends WellAs You Like ItComedy of ErrorsLove's Labour's LostMeasure for MeasureMerchant of VeniceMerry Wives of WindsorMidsummer Night's DreamMuch Ado about NothingTaming of the ShrewTempestTwelfth NightTwo Gentlemen of VeronaandWinter's Tale.


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