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William Shakespeare - Much Ado About Nothing

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William Shakespeare's, Much Ado About Nothing, is a comedy that could be classified as a drama with a few slight changes in the plot. Dramas are simply Comedies are less serious that dramas and tend to have lighthearted down-to-Earth characters. Tragedies on the other hand consist of superheroes that are brought down by a tragic flaw. Comedies generally end with the cliché, "Lived happily ever after." When analyzing the two genres, it is easily noticeable that comedy and drama are very different in characteristics.

According to Aristotle, ancient comedy originated with "komos" (1). This was a spectacle in which a group of males gathered during a festival to sing, dance, and indulge in a drunken stupor. Many historians agree this origin is plausible because most of the history of comedy has involved a high-spirited celebration that arouses the curiosity and interest of the audience. When comparing present day comedy to the time of Shakespeare, some differences are noticed. A comedy in the present day is characterized by the ability or inability to make the audience laugh. By Aristotle's standards, a literary work does not even have to be funny; a happy ending is the only requirement (1). His basic formula had more to do with expectations of the plot and characters. Essentially, a comedy is a story of the rise of fortunate for the comic hero.

A comic hero is a character with limited personal charm to win over the audience and is below average in moral character (1). Usually a comic hero is more willing to change, but if they do not, the audience finds this funny rather than tragic. Generally speaking, a comic hero is more simple minded. Rather than trying to fulfill an abstract goal, a comic hero simply tries to make it day-to-day. The most important characteristic for a comic hero involves the human body. These comic characters are more concerned with sexual desires and on personal gain. Comic heroes, unlike tragic heroes, typically get a second chance and are not destroyed by a tragic flaw.

There are different types of comedies in literature such as farce, romantic, and satirical comedy. A farce is known for its absurd humor and is far more ridiculous than any other form of comedy (2). An example of a farce includes Shakespeare's, Comedy of Errors. The second form is a satirical comedy that consists of a foolish central character that usually is deceived (1). Much Ado About Nothing is a romantic comedy that is perhaps the most popular of all forms. It includes a love plot in which two characters are in love and are reconciled towards the plays end (2.) Typically, the lovers are young and meant for one another, but are kept apart by a twist in the plot.

Tragedy, on the other hand, is a drama that is the negative of a comedy. Tragedies show the downfall of a powerful hero by a tragic flaw (1.). Aristotle is one of the most prominent theorists of the genre who stated that tragedy

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