While we talk about the various literary genres and their styles, they carry with themselves a huge variety of other things as well like the type, plot construction, character development and the like. Comedies are yet another part of this huge world of literature. Aristotle, in his Poetics, has talked at length about drama which includes comedies, tragedies, tragicomedies, histories and the like. Here he has talked about the key characteristics of all these types and how they can be separated. His work stated that comedy concerns the social life of an individual rather than his personal one. He described that the purpose of comedy was to hold mirror to the society to bring out their follies hoping that they can be mended only when people realize them.
While describing comedy in literature, we do not wish to convey the literal meaning rather a piece of work that ends on a happy note. Laughter is intended with comedy only to bring back the character back into conformity with the social world. This is what French philosopher Henry Bergson says, in his research paper writing. In a work of comedy, the audience knows and understands that no great disaster is about to occur in the work, rather everything is going to end on a happy note. The concept may seem easy at the front but is way more complicated. Students may face difficulty in figuring out the various features of comedy and thus may need assignment help with the same.
Aristotle, in his Poetics, says that comedy originated in the phallic songs and began through improvisation. In a comedy, characters, plots and settings are used in such a way so as to gather the interest of the audience and amaze them. Even the character’s discomfitures grab the readers attention rather than arousing concern in him because the readers know that the ultimate result is going to be a happy ending. Although a happy ending can be found in novels and short stories as well but the word comedy is used with reference to dramas, movies and television shows. Yet it is to be remembered that comic plots can be found in both, narrative poetry and works of fiction.
The classification of comedies, that the students seeking assignment help must remember are:
- Romantic comedy:
Immensely practiced by the Elizabethan dramatist, romantic comedy developed on the model of contemporary prose romances. Prominent works in this era were written by William Shakespeare and the University Wits.
Several research paper writings on the works of Shakespeare as well as several critics working on his life have pointed out that the plot of majority of Shakespeare’s plays were borrowed ones. To them he added his own style and creativity and brought out the plays as we see today.
For example, Shakespeare’s As You Like It had its plot borrowed from Thomas Lodge’s Rosalynde, both these works have their plot as a romantic love affair between a beautiful girl (who sometimes disguises herself as a man) and a man, young and attractive, treated badly at the hand of his brother.
Like nay other love story, this story too goes through a series of ups and downs yet ends in a happy union. This plot has been further altered and become a basis for future romantic works. Prevalent examples of these works are The Philadelphia story and Sleepless in Seattle.
Shakespeare’s romantic comedies are often said to break away from the normal world of conflict into a much peaceful and greener world as happens in As You Like It wherein the characters see the further development of story in the forest of Arden.
In fact the fairy-haunted world seen in a Midsummer Night’s Dream is an extension of this fairy idea wherein the conflicts and problems of the normal world come to an end in this green world and everything ends on a happy note.
- Comedy of manners:
Shakespeare less worked upon this genre except for in Love’s Labour’s lost and Much Ado About Nothing. This comedy was polished in the restoration era especially at the hand of the French writer Moliere. This type of comedy deals with the lives of the people living in the sophisticated upper-class society.
Here comic relief and a witty element is provided with the help of dialogue between these people which involves a witty conversational give ad take. They act as a bitter satire on the social of the people living in the era and have subject such as archrivals, jealous husbands and the like. The most famous examples of this type of comedy can be The Way of The World by William Congreve, William Wycherley’s The Country Wife and A School for Scandal by Sheridan.
Restoration period was a period when immorality was at its high and morals were stooping low. In order to highlight the situation, dramatists use this work to bring out the reaction of the middle-class society.
- Comedy of humors:
This type of comedy flourished at the hands of Ben Johnson, the Jacobian playwright. His concept was based on the idea of four humors which are based on four primary fluid sin human body – blood, phlegm, choler, melancholy.
All these four fluids were used to determine the physical and mental condition of the character. Increase in any one of them resulted in imbalance and four kinds of disposition namely – sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric and melancholic. Every Man Out of His Humor is a prominent example of this type of comedy.
- Satiric comedy:
Ben Jonson’s Volpone and The Alchemist are prominent examples in this category. This genre is used to ridicule the prominent policies and doctrines in the social and political life in order to make the audience aware of their situation.
Its purpose is to evoke laughter in the audience therefore, highly exaggerated characters and situations are used to serve the purpose. High comedy is used to evoke intellectual laughter and low comedy evokes laughter by boisterous events and physical activity.