Enos 1Ayva EnosLiterature and LawTom Curly26 March 2020Romantic Comedy and Dark Humor, One in the SameIt is almost a commonplace in Shakespearean criticism to isolate three of his comedies as a separate group and dub them as “dark comedies.” These three comedies are, All’s Well That Ends Well, Troilus and Cressidaand Measure for Measure. When a play such as Measure for Measureis called a dark comedy, the reference is at the idea of vice and corruption that is cast in the play is dark, somber, and slightly tragic. In Measure for Measure Shakespeare portrays a social world which is corrupt and rotten at the core, it is a society where morality is debased to the extreme and sexual incontinence and profligacy have an unhindered sway. The very plot of Measure for Measureis grim and dark, it shows how disgraced the manifestations of human nature, especially as embodied in Angelo. The behavior of almost all the characters (apart from the Provost and Escalus) contributes to our impression of the atmosphere of gloom and the overall dark humor portrayed in the play. The duke, Vincentio, leaves Angelo to act in his place and rule over Vienna supposedly tomake a journey but in reality, to disguise himself as a friar and return to Vienna to watch events transpire. Moral corruption is general in the city where the duke has been lax in enforcing laws governing such matters. Angelo, eager to make the hand of justice felt, arrests Claudio, a young gentleman who has gotten his beloved Juliet pregnant before they are married. He sentences him to death, although Escalus, an aged advisor of the duke, urges leniency.