• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Analyse how 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin' blends comedy and tragedy?

Extracts from this document...


Analyse how 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin' blends comedy and tragedy? 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin' is a multifaceted novel that works on many levels: a love story, a war epic; and a deconstruction of just what determines the facts that make it into the history books. Set largely during World War II, Captain Corelli's Mandolin concerns the occupation of a Greek island, Cephallonia, by Italian troops. The writer with intent focuses on an 'insignificant' island beset by the larger problems of a world at war; de Berni�res has mirrored perfectly the connection of the minor details of individual lives with the great sweep of history, the minor with the Meta. De Berni�res has, thus, set up a microcosmic society. The novel says something profound about humanity and how cyclical history is without ever having to spell it out. Throughout de Berni�res' novel: there is a constant juxtaposition of comedy and tragedy. Much stress is placed on the fine line between the two: Comedy and farce rub shoulders with tragedy and horror. "Germany is taking everything, the Italians are playing the fool, the French have run away, the Belgians have been overrun whilst looking the other way..." ...read more.


Corelli contradicts fascism's uniformity and ridicules its quest for perfection, Corelli on the whole satirises the army. De Berni�res' amalgamation of tragedy and comedy is demonstrated in Chapter 43 "The Great Big Spiky Rustball". Once Corelli is made aware that there might be an unexploded mine about, the comedy sets in. Corelli is uses this opportunity as a theatrical publicity stunt to win over the respect of the locals, and ultimately impress Pelagia and her reluctant father. The farcical nature of this chapter acts well as a comic interlude. In this chapter a corporal explicitly points out the incompetence of Captain Corelli's plan to detonate the mine "the hole is in the wrong place". Ironically, the last sentence corporal utters is "a dead man can't press charges. If you want to die, OK, I'll watch". Captain Corelli persists with his plan, the consequences disastrous. After the 'sporcaccione' of an explosion, Corelli, who was lucky to have survived, is described as "indistinguishable from the wet sand because he was perfectly covered in it." The comic elements of the novels emerge here were the downright slapstick and the comic absurdity surface. The on looking crowd become aware of the presence of the corpse of ironically the smug corporal. The crowd are comically unaffected by the death. ...read more.


Without realising the group become separated. Captain Corelli and Pelagia find themselves separated from the other two. Corelli hears an anti-aircraft gun crack and thinks Pelagia is injured. Farcically, it had only been a thorn that had scraped her cheek, making her jerk her head back resulting in her hair getting caught on the briars. After helping Pelagia, Corelli plants a kiss on Pelagia's cheek, she starts to cry. Pelagia's tears roll down into the bucket where they had collected the snails. "You're drowning them" Corelli jokes, Pelagia begins to cry again. Pelagia's feels her nose begin to run and she describes her anxiousness that "she might leave mucous on the epaulette of his uniform" as they embrace. Pelagia sniffs harder in order to prelude this eventuality. The extract moves from the sublime to the ridiculous. Much emphasis is placed the simplicity of life on the island, there is a sense of joy in the everyday, a delight in the absurdities of normal domestic life, even under difficult circumstances. The transcendence of beauty, the nobility of the oppressed, the futility of war and the power of love, are the recurring themes throughout the novel. These themes surface throughout the novel, co-existing in the comic and the tragic scenes. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Classics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Classics essays

  1. According to the Res Gestae and Suetonius' Life of Augustus, how effective were Augustus' ...

    To make the Senate more effective and less of a burden on the senators, Augustus reduced the amount of meetings, as testified by Suetonius, "Such meetings should not be held more than twice a month" (Suetonius, Life of Augustus, p.

  2. Jason behaves so badly that it is impossible for us to sympathise with his ...

    the story, you'd think she'd be the victim of vengeance because of everything she has done, but she is in fact avenging Jason herself. Euripedes manages to makes us sympathise a great deal with the actual victim of vengeance (who is Jason)

  1. Charging and Discharging a Capacitor at Constant Rate

    The charging period was recorded. 8. Steps 5 to 7 were repeated twice. Experiment 2 Variation of voltage with time when a capacitor is charged at constant rate 1. The above circuit was examined. 2. The circuit was connected as shown. The variable resistor was set to the highest resistance.

  2. Change seen in "Away", "The Island' and Unicef

    is an excellent picture book by Armin Greder which tells the story of a man who is a foreigner to an island populated with a xenophobic group. It makes an ideal text for your show as it addresses many key issues like belonging and the change that stems from it.

  1. To what extent is the theme of gender confusion used to create comic effect ...

    [14], and trying to prove that Mnesilochus is indeed a man by lifting up his skirt to show Euripides his phallus), both add to the hilarity of the play. Male actors playing effeminate male characters is another type of gender confusion displayed in the play The Poet and the Women.

  2. Cinderella - play script

    Calliope: (sings) She's a frothy little bubble with a flimsy kind of charm and with very little trouble I could break her little arm! Both: (sings) Oh why would a fellow want a girl like her, a girl who's merely lovely? Why can't a fellow ever once prefer a usual girl like me?

  1. How do the makers of The Simpsons use a simple cartoon format to combine ...

    She hits a bump, and the books fly into the air... restrained by bungees. She makes a right turn down the street. She jumps off her bike in the driveway, grabbing her books and instrument case. The bike moves into the garage, the door already opening for Homer's car, as Lisa runs to the door.

  2. The Tragic Hero

    Endless debates have centered on the term "catharsis" which Aristotle unfortunately does not define. Some critics interpret catharsis as the purging or cleansing of pity and fear from the spectators as they observe the action on stage; in this way tragedy relieves them of harmful emotions, leaving them better people for their experience.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work