Analysis of Shakespeare’s Comedy "Merry Wives of Windsor": Humour, Character Portrayal
|1.||Chapter One: Biography||8|
|2.||Chapter Two: Plot summary||10|
|3.||Chapter Three: Humour in the Comedy||14|
|4.||Chapter Four: Character portrayal||17|
|4.1.||Sir John Falstaff||18|
|4.8.||Sir Hugh Evans||23|
|4.10.||Host of the Garter Inn||24|
|4.11.||Bardolph, Pistol, Nym||25|
The comedy “The Merry Wives of Windsor” by William Shakespeare is supposed to be written about 1597 and was first published in 1602. This is Shakespeare’s only literary work that is devoted to contemporary middle class life of Elizabethan era. In the text of the comedy we can find several evidences of characters belonging to middle-class society. For example, mentioning of the houses of families: it implies that families acting in the comedy own some property: Page’s house. Besides this, every gentleman in “The Merry Wives of Windsor” have a servant; some of them even have not only one servant, but several followers. For instance, Simple is a servant to Slender; Rugby is a servant to Doctor Caius; while Bardolph, Pistol and Nym are the three followers of Falstaff.
The main character of this comedy Sir John Falstaff was not the only Falstaff in plays by William Shakespeare. As a legend narrates, Queen Elizabeth attended a feast of the Order of the Garter, where the play “Henry V” by Shakespeare was staged. Queen Elizabeth was so fond of the character named Falstaff that she asked William Shakespeare to write one more play about him; giving Shakespeare only 14 days. He dropped writing the 2nd part of “Henry V” and wrote “The Merry Wives of Windsor” including also such already known characters as: Nym, Bardolph, Pistol, Mistress Quickly and Shallow.
“The Merry Wives of Windsor” is Shakespeare’s most ridiculous and humorous work due to the fact that he managed to use linguistic jokes, comic pattern and even his knowledge of Latin language. The combination of all these ‘devices’ served for the creating of the comic mood and tone that is felt through the comedy.
The goal of the present term paper is, first of all, to investigate the essence of humour in the comedy, its kind and characteristics. Secondly, the author considers it essential to identify in what way this humour representation influences the comedy in the whole. Thirdly, it is important to find as more information about the characters as possible in order to understand the message of the narrator. Finally, the aim of this paper is to present why this comedy is different from other comedies by Shakespeare.
The enabling objectives
To attain the above mentioned aim the following tasks were set:
1.to read the play very carefully and to translate it (or read this play in mother tongue as well) for better understanding due to old language which is sometimes incomprehensible.
2.to study the available information on the topic and to carry out a selective analysis of the theoretical sources relevant to the theme investigated in the paper.
3.to study “The Merry Wives of Windsor” in order to find the examples of humour and information about each character.
4.to draw relevant conclusions
Humour and character portrayal presented in the comedy “The Merry Wives of Windsor” are so much related and connected with each other that without one the reader will not be able to understand all the mastery of writing by Shakespeare.
Methods of research
The research methods employed in the term paper are both theoretical and practical. The theoretical method includes the study of the relevant kinds of humour and characteristics analyzing personages, and the presentation of the gathered material in a definite framework. Practical method includes searching for the examples of humour presentation in the comedy and examples describing characters.…
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