Download Comedy Matters: From Shakespeare to Stoppard by W. Demastes PDF

By W. Demastes

Comedy concerns lines the lengthy culture of the expansive comedian embody of cultural distinction and variety that manages to outlive even in a few of mankind s darkest moments. Demastes argues that comedy has a hard-nosed, pragmatic size that may be mobilized opposed to belligerent cultural forces. Drawing from the works of Shakespeare, Stoppard, and several comedian masters, Comedy concerns demonstrates how comedy keeps to paintings opposed to cultural regimentation by means of striving to re-calibrate our decision-making techniques and tough the stultifying pressure of human financial system within the broadest feel of the time period.

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Additional info for Comedy Matters: From Shakespeare to Stoppard

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It takes a hero, though this brand of heroism has no formal place in the warrior order currently in ascendancy. Having yet to demonstrate a capacity to play the traditional hero and therefore vulnerable to the charge of cowardice, Helenus is not in a position to critique the heroic formula. However, Hector can be the comic-hero advocate of a comic resolution, having proven that he can live up to the traditional heroic ideal and therefore illustrating that his choice to accept a revolutionarily practical alternative solution is a real choice not merely motivated by cowardice.

If there is a common formula in any of this, it is that comedy plays outside of the influence of human reason, reveling in the unrealistically fantastic or imaginary and embracing our rationally overpowered lowered faculties. At best, comedy confirms human resilience against insurmountable odds, revealing an admirable survival instinct against all reason. So goes the general argument even today. But there is much more to Sypher’s point that comedy and tragedy are kin or that comedy complements tragedy by offering what tragedy doesn’t.

Love is left in the mire of inconstancy and cuckoldry, with no attempt to resurrect it. We neither find transcendent “tragic” value nor a transformative “comic” potential in the play. Hector’s comic suggestion and tragic doom, Ulysses’ manipulations of various contingencies, Troilus’ rejection of comedy altogether—the play is a tale of multiple failures leaving little hope for resolution beyond the mere “end” of catastrophe. ”2 But simply conceding that Troilus and Cressida fits into Langer’s description of a history play doesn’t really end the matter, because in the case of this play at least, it is worthwhile to uncover exactly why resolution—tragic or comic—doesn’t occur.

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