Download An Introduction to Shakespeare’s Comedies by Patrick Swinden (auth.) PDF

By Patrick Swinden (auth.)

ISBN-10: 1349017515

ISBN-13: 9781349017515

ISBN-10: 1349017531

ISBN-13: 9781349017539

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Almost every scene can be paralleled right down to Valentine's rope ladder, which finds its way into Romeo and Juliet a couple of years later. We need not stop at details of the plot. The characters also 34 An Introduction to Shakespeare's Comedies are the earliest examples of types we find Shakespeare using over and over again in the later comedies. Silvia is the artful, but reasonable woman of the world; Julia the spirited, ardent lover who invariably proves to be a much more positive character than the man she loves.

What he says in IV, iii is also a part of the truth. Love is part rapture, part humiliation. It is also part affectation, as Rosaline points out to him in v, ii, when she corrects his ascent into French whilst he is confessing that his lovemaking shall henceforth be expressed 'in russet yeas and honest kersey noes'. Even at the very end of the play the staying power of Berowne's love is in doubt, and he is packed off to visit the sick and talk with groaning wretches for a twelvemonth, before he comes to a decision about whether he will marry Rosaline or not.

All of this is contained in a dramatic structure which I have described as progressively dissolving because of its accelerating tendency to fall apart into multiple instances of display; and I have said that it does this because it is at once a type of and a substitute for those courtly entertainments in which the audience itself, and not its stage substitutes, took part. Here the audience has it both ways. It doesn't have to take part, but it receives every encouragement to do so. The behaviour of the Navarrese is the pattern of their own.

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