|aThe Cambridge introduction to Shakespeare's comedies /|cby Penny Gay.
|aCambridge, UK :|bCambridge University Press,|c2008.
|aix, 153 p. ;|c24 cm.
|aCambridge introductions to literature
|aIncludes bibliographical references (p. 141-150) and index.
|aIntroduction : comedy as idea and practice -- Farce : The comedy of errors, The taming of the shrew, The merry wives of Windsor -- Courtly lovers and the real world : Two gentlemen of Verona, A midsummer night's dream, The merchant of Venice -- Comedy and language : Love's labour's lost -- Romantic comedy : Much ado about nothing, As you like it, Twelfth night -- Problematic plots and endings : clowning and comedy post-Hamlet : Measure for measure, All's well that ends well, The winter's tale, Cymbeline, The tempest -- The afterlives of Shakespeare's comedies.
|aWhy did theatre audiences laugh in Shakespeare's day? Why do they still laugh now? What did Shakespeare do with the conventions of comedy that he inherited, so that his plays continue to amuse and move audiences? What do his comedies have to say about love, sex, gender, power, family, community, and class? What place have pain, cruelty, and even death in a comedy? Why all those puns? In a survey that travels from Shakespeare's earliest experiments in farce and courtly love-stories to the great romantic comedies of his middle years and the mould-breaking experiments of his last decade's work, this book addresses these vital questions. Organised thematically, and covering all Shakespeare's comedies from the beginning to the end of his career, it provides readers with a map of the playwright's comic styles, showing how he built on comedic conventions as he further enriched the possibilities of the genre.