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Shakespeare's romantic comedies range from the mystical to the ludicrous. Plays such as A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice and Twelfth Night dip into the essences of the mystical and ludicrous and distasteful.

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Introduction

Ashley Abboud Shakespeare 509 November 17, 2002 Paper #2 Shakespeare's romantic comedies range from the mystical to the ludicrous. Plays such as A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice and Twelfth Night dip into the essences of the mystical and ludicrous and distasteful. It has been said that these elements for example, "love-in-idleness juice," the anti-Semitism of the Merchant of Venice and the social distinctions of Twelfth Night, are all "problematic to the readers of the 21st century." This essay will explain how these attributes of Shakespeare's work are some what of a hindrance to the readers of the 21st century. To begin with A Midsummer Night's Dream, the idea of love-in -idleness juice is a little too much. The problem is not so much with the juice itself but the implications of the juice kept on the eyes of Demetrius. At the beginning of the play he is truly in love with Hermia, but because of the fairy Oberon, he is forced to love Helena, "A sweet Athenian lady is in love with a disdainful youth. ...read more.

Middle

Theses responses to Hermia are so ugly and harsh, that it breaks down the believability of a romance happening between these two, especially a wedding by the end of the play. Over all Shakespeare's use of the love juice breaks down the believability and romance to a romantic comedy. Another problematic aspect to Shakespeare's plays lies in The Merchant of Venice. Shakespeare raises his voice to racism in this play through his characters of Portia and Shylock. The reason this is problematic to the 21st century reader is because all of out past history with WW2. Through time we learn to be more socially aware. In that aspect Shakespeare can not be held accountable for the beliefs his society held. His job as a powerful play write is not being questioned, but because time is a teacher, it has put chronological distance between the audience of today and the audience of the 17th century. ...read more.

Conclusion

While in today's society these distinctions do not exist, so the humor of the situation falls on deaf ears. This is a major draw back and it puts a continental divide in-between the 21st century and the 17th century. Shakespeare's humor is lost, and thus becomes ineffectual and obsolete. The whole play is lost to us due to the misunderstandings of the generation gap. This compromises the humor of the romantic comedy. Since the audience of today can not understand the humor of a 17th century romantic comedy, Shakespeare's play is limited. In conclusion, Shakespeare's romantic comedies vary from the mystical to the ludicrous. Plays such as A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice and Twelfth Night dip into the essences of the mystical and ludicrous and distasteful. The elements that make these plays problematic are, "love-in-idleness juice," anti-Semitism and social distinctions. These problems lead Shakespeare's writings to become limited due to the generation gap. 1 Abboud ...read more.

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