I am writing a 750 word short essay for the topic: Define the characteristics

of Shakespearean comedy and tragedy as indicated by the conclusions of Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, and King Lear. I want to make sure it's clear and concise, and error-free. Thanks!

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The classification of Elizabethan plays have derived from the definitions constructed by philosophers of Ancient Greece and Roman regarding the different types of plays, which travelled into the Renaissance Europe and into the modern world of the 21 st centuries. However, the attempts to classify the plays of Shakespeare and to deliberately fit them into the proverbial patterns of specific genres have been futile . As the writer of unrivalled creative mastery, Shakespeare blurs the boundaries between these genres. When it comes to the division between comedy and tragedy, there are distinct characteristics that are generally identifiable in each genre. As Shakespearean comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and As You Like , are abound in disguises and mistaken identities with very convoluted plots that eventually leads to contrived endings; whereas in King Lear , a Shakespearean tragedy, a tragic flaw leads to demise of the protagonist. Most Shakespearean comedies are always light-hearted and have followed consistently certain aspects, such as mistaken identity, which is commonly known to be a Shakespearean plot device. It takes the form of mixed-up twins or opposite sex disguise, leading to misunderstandings and comical effects. The complex scheme of cross-dressing is most evident in As You Like It , in which Rosalind disguises herself as a young man named Ganymede who must pretend to be herself in front of Orlando. In addition, the fact that men had to play women’s roles on the stage during Shakespeare’s time adds another dimension to the farce . In addition, Shakespeare makes the plays even more intricate by developing multiple plot lines that intertwine in an amusing way. For instance, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream , the humorous entanglements between the characters start with Puck’s mistaken application of the love potion, causing Lysander to fall in love with Helena and to abandon his true love Hermia. As convoluted as the plot may be, the Shakespearean comedy inevitably arrives at its happy ending in which all the unexpected twists resolves and love prevails. A common feature to the ending is the marriage, or the declaration of marriage, of the lovers. In the final act of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, three pairs of lovers, Theseus and Hippolyta; Lysander and Hermia; and Demetrius and Helena, are happily married ; and As You Like It, four pairs, Rosalind and Orlando; Audrey and Touchstone; Celia and Oliver; Phoebe and Silvius. On the other hand, Shakespearean tragedies are deeply depressing and often relates to revenge and ambition. They follow a specific structure of plot progression leading to the ultimate tragedy. First, with every tragic story comes a tragic hero or heroine, who, by definition, is born into nobility and possesses a tragic flaw that triggers him or her to make erroneous judgments. For example, King Lear, as a tragic hero, is flawed by his egotistic personality which impairs his judgment, leading to wrong actions performed and resulting in his own ruin. Such flaw is depicted when he asks his daughters, “Which of you shall we say doth love us most?/ That we our largest bounty may extend/ Where nature doth with merit challenge?" (I.i.50-55) and casts Cordelia out after she refuses to partake in such superficial demonstration. Eventually, the hero or heroine realizes that he or she has made an irreversible mistake and is destined for downfall. In instance, King Lear finally confesses his mistake that has led to the chaos descended upon his kingdom and his madness, after he has already lost everything. To conclude, Shakespeare ends all of his tragedies in death. King Lear’s tragic death is illustrated as he holds his dead daughter, expressing the agony of pain he feels in his last words, And my poor fool is hang'd! No, no, no life!
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Shakespearean comedy and tragedy.docx