Subversive Comedy In Shakespeare's Uses Of Beatrice

Improved Essays
Register to read the introduction… Beatrice’s use of certain subversive subjects can sometimes be misconceived as a form of cruelty by some, as she constantly references the cuckold by talking about horns, which at the time was a serious danger to male honour and inheritance, but it’s really just playful banter. Beatrice crafts her language with extreme levels of skill and finesse, she twists the words of men to use to her own advantage; this in turn makes her seem like a very intelligent individual, a trait that wasn’t considered feminine at the time. This in itself is a mode of subversive comedy, making the men seem as if they have to keep their wits about them in the presence of such a witty siren. This wit would invoke an admiring laughter for the audience as she would not only be looked at by women as an idol but by men as a respectable intelligent individual. There is one moment where Beatrice could have been considered cruel as her comments had potential for tragedy, this is where the bounds of comedy where perhaps overstepped as she was empowered by the fact that all the male characters are in disguised apparel, giving her the chance to cause chaos between the noble male soldiers relaxing after the …show more content…
This being Hero’s wedding. Claudio, having been fooled by Don John, accuses hero of sleeping with Borachio. He then confronts her about it, in turn stopping the wedding and making Hero seem like a common prostitute in front of everyone. He then pushes her to the ground in a fit of rage before storming out. This is shocking to watch as it really shows what can happen when the seeds of deception are planted. The word cruelty is often misunderstood or misused in conjunction with comedy, the meaning of cruelty is to perform acts of evil or hatred without any consideration or thought for the consequences. To prove that Shakespeare's comedy is not cruel; the only character to display these traits necessary to be considered cruel is Don John, but this is because his character is simply used as a plot driver not as an active contributor to the comedy within the play. To quote Charlie Chaplin 'life is a tragedy when seen close-up, a comedy in long-shot'. This basically tells us that in order to make the true horrors of everyday life bearable we must laugh at others misfortunes, this lessens the impact of their reality bound counterparts. An example would be Cuckoldry in Much Ado about Nothing; it was an extremely tabooed area at the time, but this play would have made the subject a little easier to discuss and

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    He becomes so enraged with the women he loves that he strikes her in public and calls her a “devil.” As the play progresses, his rage continues to grow until he states that “she must die, else she’ll betray more men.” Later in that same scene, he smothers his wife to death. In reality, the only evidence Othello has of his wife’s infidelity is a handkerchief placed by Iago in Cassio’s house and the words of an ensign he believes he can trust. His ability for reason and logic become hostage to rage and resentment and the darker aspects of Othello’s nature take over. If he had not been so enraged, he would have been able to piece through the accusations of infidelity and realize Iago was deceiving him. If his passions did not trump his perspicacity, he would have recognized the strong bonds of love between him and Desdemona.…

    • 1260 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The word “sex-jealousy” sounds comically ridiculous because of how unreasonably prejudiced it is. The word mocks women as emotional and childish, unable to care about anything other than men. The slangy tone shows how casually accepting Jason is of his sexist views which makes the situation seem even more outlandish. However, despite the ridiculousness, Jason’s words make us laugh because we can relate what he says to things people still actually say today. Later on, when Medea convinces Jason that she has reconsidered, Jason responds by patronizing Medea, as if he pities her womanly lack of ability to think with reason.…

    • 1312 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Humor detracts from the existential dread of any suggestion, though it must be pulled off without a hitch or awkward pause. Misfired humor is the fodder of racist propaganda and horror stories. Needing to explain how jokes work marks one not just incompetent at humor, but also useless to society. To work, comedy may be subtly emphasized, must have multiple possible meanings, might teeter near the boundary to the unforgivable, and should balance the identity of the audience & butt of the joke with…

    • 1267 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    I felt as if the producers over used dramatic sound effects to make up for the lack of dialogue which again in turn made the film seem cliche and not very funny at all. I am the type of person to find nearly everything funny except when it is tried too hard to be funny. Also, I felt as if the sole purpose of all silent films were to be funny and had no real plot. This film had just the right amount of comedy, some parts were funny but it had a real plot. The comedic parts tied in well with the plot.…

    • 899 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    It’s funny to think that Shakespeare would write a play solely about rumors and what can be affected if evil is put into place due to jealousy or the inability to find love. When it comes to noting, we as humans tend to note on command without even thinking, it is called judgment. We judge other persons as a 6th sense without us even realizing. Shakespeare most likely wrote this play as an advocate to not spread rumors unless they are meant for good and knowing both parties want the same thing. This era was of comedy and romance so it was a great way to read a Shakespearean play that is so relevant today.…

    • 1344 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    However, the recurrence of deception in Shakespeare’s Othello connected the play together. Iago somehow managed to maneuver each character’s actions so that they would never find out the truth. Although in a way, deception was the true villain in Othello. If each character had not committed their small acts of deception, the play would not be a tragedy at…

    • 1082 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This is shown to be a weapon of destruction in the play Othello and in today world due to the fact that one can not feel happy for another. In Othello Iago did not obtain what he wanted so he went on to being the reason of Desdemona death and Othello 's suicide.We saw it when Othello wanted Cassio dead because he thought he was having an affair with Desdemona. We see this in our own world, be it at our own school or home with sibling or even with friends. Some people take this jealousy they have too far like Iago and end up getting people killed because of it. This proves the fact that Jealousy at a mans heart can be the one thing the destroys his world.…

    • 1066 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    He used deception to highlight two of the play’s main themes, which is that deception is a means to an end and that self deception is the one of the worst kinds of deception. He knew how to use deception to move the plot into different directions and just to make the story more interesting. Don John was used by Shakespeare to really highlight what a villain looks like and also show that not all villains will act like your enemy, until it’s too late. I believe Shakespeare wanted to teach the public that deception for bad purposes will only get you in trouble, and he succeeded. He has proved in this play that even the brightest of us can be deceived and that you must always be mindful of your surroundings and to always be questioning what someone’s intentions are because your closest ally might just be your worst…

    • 916 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    He saw much to be gained by it, and to this end he did many things that the persons of the drama must construe as madness. His avowed intention was to throw them off the track. To understand the madness as real is to make of the play a mad-house tragedy that could have no meaning for the very sane Englishmen for whom Shakespeare wrote. There is dramatic value in such madness as Lear's, for the play traces the causes of his madness, and the influences that restore him. Lear's madness had its roots in his moral and spiritual defects, and the cure was his moral regeneration.…

    • 797 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Misogyny In Hamlet

    • 1032 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The conversations usually end with yelling and violence. For example, When Ophelia attempts to give Hamlet his necklace he lashes out at her and gets violent with her by shoving her up against the wall. Hamlet even goes far enough to tell Ophelia that she was a prostitute and that he never loved her at all. During, the play that Hamlet wrote to swindle his uncle into confessing to what he did to Hamlet’s father; Hamlet lays his head in Ophelia lap and acts extremely vulgar. In the play he designed a character, which represented his mother, to act like a terrible person and a harlot.…

    • 1032 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays