Download An Introduction to Shakespeare’s Comedies by Patrick Swinden (auth.) PDF

By Patrick Swinden (auth.)

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Extra resources for An Introduction to Shakespeare’s Comedies

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Barber in his book on Shakespeare's Festive Comedy. Professor Barber believes that in what he calls the 'idyllic' comedies, release is expressed by making the experience of the play like that of a revel- for actors and audience alike. The 'holiday humour' that Rosalind refers to in As r ou Like It (IV' i) 'is often abetted by directly staging pastimes, dances, songs, masques, plays ex tempore etc. ' And so 'the process of translating festive experience into

Where the first is derived from a widely known folk-theme and issues in farce, this one hails from the Classico-Italianate comedy that Shakespeare was to use so often in the future. It is an adaptation of George Gascoigne's translation of the Italian comedy I Suppositi (Supposes) and is the first example in the comedies of a second action developing concurrently with the principal one. Notably, the usual balance is reversed. Farce takes pride of place over courtly romance. As a romance there is little to be said for or against it, except that it interacts very skilfully with the Petruchio-Kate plot; and it provides Shakespeare with an opportunity (in v, i Vincentia and the pedant) to rework the scene in The Comedy of Errors (m, i) where Antipholus of Ephesus is locked out of his house.

The same applies to his comments on the opening of the same scene. Here Kate is discovered with Bianca asking about her lovers rather as Nerissa is to ask Portia in The Merchant of Venice: Of all thy suitors here I charge thee tell Whom thou lov'st best. See thou dissemble not. Tillyard's explanation is that Kate is obliquely disclosing to the audience a very genuine interest in men which lurks half confessed beneath her apparent disdain. There may be something in this. It is true that the characterisation of Kate does fill out the more one rereads the play.

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