Shakespeare's Comedies and Problem Plays Comparison Essay by HigherEdu

Shakespeare's Comedies and Problem Plays
An analysis of the optimistic conclusions in Shakespeare's comedies and problem plays as seen in "Much Ado about Nothing" and "Measure for Measure".
# 114380 | 1,825 words | 1 source | MLA | 2009 | CA

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This paper considers the statement that Shakespeare's comedies and problem plays tend to wind through to their happy endings by way of some kind of victory over the opposite possibility, through an encounter with death or calamity of some sort. The paper applies this statement to "Much Ado about Nothing" and "Measure for Measure", assessing the differences between the comedy and the problem play. The paper asserts that, while the above statement is true, the vehicle through which we honestly proceed towards a conclusion flattering to our optimism is considerably different for comedies than it is for problem plays.

From the Paper:

"The title of Much Ado about Nothing suggests that, in tone, this play is a comedy: we have a sense that a great deal will be made over a small affair, and look forward to what this affair might be, how the characters will become embroiled in it, and how the various misunderstandings and confusions that characterize a comic play will be worked out in the end. In comedies, it is the harmonious conclusion towards which the audience yearns.
"Not surprisingly, love is central to this play's themes, as it is in comedy generally. Much Ado about Nothing presents us with two sets of lovers: Beatrice and Benedick represent the sceptical lovers, and Hero and Claudio represent the ideal lovers. For both sets of lovers, the articulation of mutual love is the first in a series of hurdles that threaten to obstruct the relationship from blooming into maturity, as is expressed in the bonds of matrimony."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Shakespeare, William. William Shakespeare: The Complete Works. USA: Gramercy Books., 1975.

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

Shakespeare's Comedies and Problem Plays (2009, June 08) Retrieved December 02, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Shakespeare's Comedies and Problem Plays" 08 June 2009. Web. 02 December. 2023. <>