The Better Comedy

May 25, 2010
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"What was I married to her in my dream? Or sleep I now and think I hear all this? What error drives our eyes and ears?" (Comedy of Errors: Act II, Scene II). Comedy is a very complex subject. The way in which someone may define comedy may be hard to do. Comedy is an event, or multiple events, that are humorous, or make you laugh. It involves certain literary elements. For instance, dramatic irony, a pun, and an oxymoron are some elements involved in comedy. Comedy can, also, involve confusion, shown verbally in the quote above, and many aspects of physical comedy. The best comedy would have to be Comedy of Errors because it contains all of the elements mentioned above, those that are essential to comedy. Comedy of Errors is a play written by William Shakespeare and it is about a set of twins who have the same name and each get one servant for themselves. Their servants are also twins with the same name. When they are babies, they are split up in a shipwreck and, later in life; they all end up on the same Island. Both do not realize that their own twin is on that island. Everyone is mistaken for each other and no one knows who is the real person they are looking for is. Comedy of Errors contains physical comedy, confusion, and many other important elements. What really makes this play the best comedy, though, would have to be the confusion and the physical comedy. These two elements make Comedy of Errors the best comedy and knowing why these two elements make Comedy of Errors the best comedy makes it more fantastic.

Comedy of Errors contains one of the funniest ways to present comedy; physical comedy. There are many instances of physical comedy in Comedy of Errors. For instance, Antipholus is locked out of his own house because the other Antipholus is inside being mistaken for him. They, then, decide to use his servant, Dromio, bust open the door. He is slammed into the door, head first, and rebounds back off the door, taking the other men that are there helping down with him. This kind of physical comedy, where someone proceeds to be injured, is one of the easiest to relate to, so it is hilarious for everyone in the audience. You do not have to be very literate, well educated, or witty to understand this type of comedy because, everyone knows when it happens and everyone finds it funny. This kind of physical comedy is constantly occurring throughout the whole play, which makes for nonstop laughing. As soon as you are finished laughing about one trip, fall, or bang, another comes along and it is almost impossible to stop laughing! Another type of physical comedy that is being used in Comedy of Errors would be men dressed as women. This is a guaranteed laugh! What can be more outrageously funny than a man with a high voice in a dress? In Comedy of Errors, this occurs in scenes with Dromio’s wife, who is played by a man. The Dromio that is not married to this wife character is running from her multiple times in the play, because he is freaked out by her man-like qualities. The comments he the proceeds to make about how ugly she is and how afraid he is by her chasing him around is just icing on the cake to this wonderful aspect of physical comedy. The variety of physical comedy in Comedy of Errors creates a non-stop laughing, outrageously hilarious experience that anyone would enjoy.

Another essential aspect of comedy that Comedy of Errors uses would be confusion. It is all ways hilarious when nobody knows what is going on and you do. A stylistic device that is used with this kind of comedy is dramatic irony because you know something that the characters do not know, which is usually what happens with confusion in a play like Comedy of Errors. Comedy of Errors is, basically, based on confusion. Confusion is what drives the plot of the play. For example, the main plot of the story is just one big giant confused mess, not for the audience, but for the characters. People have the same names and look the same and so they are constantly mixing up each other. In Comedy of Errors, one of the twins named Antipholus tells one of the Dromios to go and get him a rope. Dromio leaves to go get a rope and later returns to the other Antipholus with the rope. This Antipholus is very confused because he did not tell Dromio to go and get him a rope, yet Dromio insists that he did tell him to go and get a rope. The Antipholus ends up never getting his rope because the other Antipholus told him to get rid of the rope. The characters are constantly calling each other crazy because they think that they had just told them something, but it was really the other twin that did. This type of comedy will make anyone laugh! Even if you are somewhat confused as well, it makes it all the better because you have no idea what is going on and neither do the characters. Confusion is one of the funniest elements of comedy. Comedy of Errors is, basically, a play of total confusion. This makes Comedy of Errors hilarious from start to finish.

Comedy of Errors is the best comedy. It is the best comedy because, it contains and involves all of the most important elements of comedy, the most important being physical comedy and confusion. Because of these elements, Comedy of Errors is the best Shakespeare comedy. It is a delight to watch and a delight to read. In both forms it is the best comedy and it will always be the best comedy.

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