Subversive Comedy In Shakespeare's Uses Of Beatrice

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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

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