Humor of William Shakespeare
|SYSTEM OF REFERENCES||9|
|CHAPTER I||W. SHAKESPEARE, COMEDIES AND “MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING”||10|
|1.||CHRONOLOGY AND TYPES OF W. SHAKESPEARE’S PLAYS||12|
|2.||TYPES AND DIVISION OF W. SHAKESPEARE’S COMEDIES||15|
|3.||EDITIONS OF W. SHAKESPEARE’S PLAYS||18|
|CHAPTER III||IRONY, SARCASM, SATIRE||27|
|CHAPTER IV||OTHER STYLISTIC DEVICES CREATING HUMOUR||38|
William Shakespeare’s language is unique and takes the reader back to the sixteenth century.
“The English language owes a great debt to Shakespeare. He invented over 1700 of our common words by changing nouns into verbs, changing verbs into adjectives, connecting words never before used together, adding prefixes and suffixes, and devising words wholly original.” [W - About.com, 2001]
He has created a great number of literary works that lie at the foundations of the English literature; and thus his influence on the present-day writing and thinking does not allow us to leave W. Shakespeare to the past. He has been a mythical personality; the mystery of his existence fascinates people. Even though it will never be possible to solve this puzzle, the searching for answers both about his personality and writing preoccupies the minds of a multitude of researchers.
W. Shakespeare’s works include the poetic and the mundane, the serious and the funny, tragedy and satire – it is possible to say that all the wealth of human emotion has been alloyed in his plays. The constructions of the playwright’s world extend from the remote past (as in “Julius Caesar”) to the nearly contemporary (“Henry VIII”), from the almost real (e.g. “Hamlet”) to the absolutely fantastic (cf. “The Tempest”) and from the gory and gloomy (cf. “Henry V” and “Othello”) to the light and funny (cf. “Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Twelfth Night”).
In “Much Ado About Nothing” W. Shakespeare himself says, “How much better is it to weep at joy than to joy at weeping!” [I, 1] Indeed, if we meet excellent humour that makes our eyes wet of laughing, the feeling is wonderful, nothing compares to it. And it is very difficult to understand why after such weeping people usually feel very good, their hearts are light and if there have been any problems or pain, they are not so essential any more. When people laugh heartily, they seem to be in another dimension, the feeling is indescribable…
Yet no one really knows why we laugh. If one thing is funny for one person, it may not be so for another. Humour is a very delicate thing, just like perfume, for some of its multiple components, when sniffed in isolation, can make one wince [Cf. W - Britannica.com, Humour, Patterns of association].
The understanding of humour depends not only on the person, but also on the concrete time and the mood of the given person – if something makes me laugh today, I cannot be sure it would be like that or repeat another day.
And, undeniably, the sense of humour depends on the age, culture or community where different humours can be found. [Cf. W - Howstuffworks.com, 1998 - 2001] There are different jokes meant for children, teens and adults. And sometimes a joke does not have a humorous effect, unless it reaches the right audience.…