Comedy Matters: From Shakespeare to Stoppard by W. Demastes

By W. Demastes

Comedy issues strains the lengthy culture of the expansive comedian include of cultural distinction and variety that manages to outlive even in a few of mankind s darkest moments. Demastes argues that comedy has a hard-nosed, pragmatic measurement that may be mobilized opposed to belligerent cultural forces. Drawing from the works of Shakespeare, Stoppard, and several comedian masters, Comedy concerns demonstrates how comedy maintains to paintings opposed to cultural regimentation via striving to re-calibrate our decision-making procedures and hard the stultifying stress of human financial system within the broadest feel of the time period.

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Additional resources for Comedy Matters: From Shakespeare to Stoppard

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The line is clear and unambiguous in Hamlet’s mind: accepting the point that dualism (the physical and the ideal are separate realities) is incontrovertible, he concludes that the physical/material world is little more than a poor shadow of the Platonically ideal real (or the Christian truth). 136). Hamlet is a man who knows the difference, and if necessary (though quite reluctantly), he can operate in both worlds, calling his ideal mind to grapple with and ultimately unmask the rank material world that surrounds it.

Far from a cowardly conclusion, Hector’s decision reflects a comic, pragmatic, and material acceptance of a real/true point and a necessarily simultaneous deflation of the chivalrous and heroic cosmic ideal that so meticulously consumes human beings as it rather inhumanly/inelastically preserves itself. Hector’s vital elasticity basically confronts the inelastic code of honor encrusting its adherents. And at this point there is genuine hope for humanity. In Hector’s argument, physical life prevails over ideal honor.

Less obvious might be a decision to begin with one of Shakespeare’s least comic and least tragic plays, but this singular apparent failure-by-design reveals by indirection some of the most significant points of convergence. Returning to Odysseus, giving him his Roman name (Ulysses), and clothing him in an Elizabethan sensibility, we come to Shakespeare’s troubling Troilus and Cressida. This play positions us in a world—the seventh year of the ten-year Trojan War—that is clearly at face value unsuited for comedy and therefore arguably not altogether different from how Sypher describes our current age.

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