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The new comedy showed a surprising triumph

2021-03-03 来源: 51Due教员组 类别: Essay范文


下面为大家整理一篇优秀的Shakespeare Paper代写范文—“新喜剧表现出令人惊讶的胜利:看似弱者胜过看似强大者:年龄更大的年轻人,对财产的热爱,对权威的机智,对审慎计算器的追求者Maus106)。这正是我想与您分享的,作为莎士比亚在其名为《仲夏夜之梦》和《如您所愿》中分别使用的新喜剧惯例之一。一方面,在《仲夏夜之梦》中,我们可以看到,从埃尔米亚(Hermia)和莱桑德(Lysander)逃离雅典到树林,以及罗宾·古德费洛(Robin Goodfellow)为妖精之王奥伯龙(Oberon)服务的强大实力上,明显的弱点。另一方面,在《如你所愿》中,从罗莎琳德和西莉亚逃离由弗雷德里克公爵控制的球场,逃到阿尔登森林,公爵前辈被流放,奥兰多和他的老仆亚当逃离他的兄弟奥利弗,我们可以告诉年轻人随着年龄的增长以及对权威的机智,尤其是当幸福的结局到来时。



Part 1:

As is mentioned in Maus’ article, “New Comedy registers the surprising triumph of the apparently weak over the apparently powerful: of youth over age, of love over property, of wit over authority, of pleasure-seekers over prudent calculators” (Maus, 106). This is exactly what I would like to share with you as one of the conventions of New Comedy which Shakespeare uses in his plays named A Midsummer Night's Dream and As You Like It respectively. On one hand, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, we can see the obvious weakness over powerful strength from Hermia and Lysander’s running away from Athens to the wood and Robin Goodfellow’s service to Oberon who is the king of fairies. On the other hand, in As You Like It, from Rosalind and Cilia’s running away from the court being controlled by Duke Frederick to the Arden Forest where the Duke Senior is exiled and also Orlando and his old servant Adam’s escaping from his brother Oliver, we can tell the success of youth over age and of wit over authority, especially when the happy ending comes.


Part 2:

For this part, I choose Prompt 1. Answers to the questions and my essay are as follow.


The answer to the questions in Prompt 1:


1. Briefly summarize Maus’ argument in her article:

In her article titled Shakespearean Comedy, Maus put forward her interpretation of the conventions of Shakespeare’s comedies. She holds the idea that there is a potential and unanticipated trend for the weak part to defeat the powerful one. To be more specific, this trend embodies in the young’s confrontation to the elder, the higher position of love compared with wealth and fame, intelligent characters’ triumph over authoritative ones, and happiness-followers’ dominance over extremely calculating persons. In the meantime, the play ends with transformation of the uninhibited energy of the characters into a form that seems to strengthen, not challenge, the present situation.


2. My response to Maus’ argument:

To a large degree, I agree with Maus’ argument, but with my limited knowledge I am not able to find every evidence from Shakespeare’s comedies to support her sub-arguments. Therefore, later in my essay I will try my best to argue for my interpretation.


3. Specific passages from A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It and The Merchant of Venice to support my position:

A. the young’s confrontation to the elder:

EGEUS: consent to marry with Demetrius,

I beg the ancient privilege of Athens:

As she is mine, I may dispose of her;

Which shall be either to this gentleman

Or to her death, according to our law

Immediately provided in that case.(1.1.41-46)


THESEUS: what say you , Hermia? Be advised, fair maid,

To your father should be as a God,

One that composed your beauties, yea, and one

To whom you are but as a form in wax

By him imprinted and within his power

To leave the figure or disfigure it.(1.1.47-52)


HERMIA: I do entreat your grace to pardon me .

I know not by what power I am made bold,

Nor how it may concern my modesty

In such a presence here to plead my thoughts:

But I beseech your grace that I may know

The worst that may befall me I this case,

If I refuse to wed Demetrius.

THESEUS: either to die the death or to abjure

Forever the society of men. (1.1.60-68)

B. the higher position of love compared with wealth and fame:

TOUCHSTONE: A poor virgin, sir, an ill-favored thing, sir, but mine own, a poor humour ogre mine, sir, to take that that no man else will. (5.4.49-50)

When Touchstone fell in love with a shepherdess named Audrey who is poor,  not good looking and not so smart, he proposed to her without considering the background.


OLIVER: Twice did he turn his back and purposed so,

But kindness, nobler ever than revenge,

And nature, stronger than his just occasions,

Made him give battle to the lioness,

Who quickly fell before him: in which hurtling

From miserable slumber I awaked.(4.3.126-131)


OLIVER: ‘Twas I, but’ tis not. I do net shame

To tell you what I was, since my conversion

So sweetly tastes, being the thing I am.(4.3.135-137)

When Oliver did not know Celia herself is the princess, and thought she was just a shepherdess, he vowed to give up all the property, all to Orlando, as long as his life together with Celia.

C. intelligent characters’ triumph over authoritative ones:

At the end of The Merchant of Venice, Baocia disguised himself as a doctor of law and appeared in a Venice court. With her use of resourceful wisdom, she finally defeated Sherlock, and saved Antonio’s life from being gouged out a piece of flesh. In this play, Shakespeare praised the love of happiness and valuable friendship while criticized the greed of human nature.

D. happiness-followers’ dominance over extremely calculating persons:

ANTONIO: Believe me, no;

I thank my fortune for it,

My ventures are not in one bottom trusted,

Nor to one place;

Nor is my whole estate

Upon fortune of this present year;

Therefore my merchandise makes me not sad.(1.1.)


ANTONIO: I am as like to call thee again,

To spite on thee again, to spurn thee too.

If thou wilt lend this money, lend it not

As to thy friends-for when did friendship take

A breed for barren metal of his friend?-

But lend it to thee enemy,

Who if he break out thou mayst with better face

Except the penalty. (1.3.)


SHYLOCK: The patch is kind enough, but a huge feeder,

Snail -slow in profit, and he sleeps by day

More than the wild-cat; drones hive not with me,

Therefore I part with him; and part with him

To one that I would have him help waste

His borrowed purse.

Well, Jeccica, go in;

Perhaps I will return immediately.

Do as I bid you, shut doors after you.

Fast bind, fast bind-

A proverb never stale in thrifty mind. (2.5.)




My essay based on Prompt 1:


When it comes Maus’s interpretation of Shakespearean comedy, I would like to quote her words “New Comedy registers the surprising triumph of the apparently weak over the apparently powerful”(Maus, 106). From my point of view, I agree with her view in general but with questions to discuss in the latter part in my essay.


In her article titled Shakespearean Comedy, Maus put forward her interpretation of the conventions of Shakespeare’s comedies. She holds the idea that there is a potential and unanticipated trend for the weak part to defeat the powerful one. To be more specific, this trend embodies in the young’s confrontation to the elder, the higher position of love compared with wealth and fame, intelligent characters’ triumph over authoritative ones, and happiness-followers’ dominance over extremely calculating persons. In the meantime, the play ends with transformation of the uninhibited energy of the characters into a form that seems to strengthen, not challenge, the present situation.


To a large degree, I agree with Maus’ argument, but with my limited knowledge I am not able to find every evidence from Shakespeare’s comedies to support her sub-arguments. Therefore, later in my essay I will try my best to argue for my interpretation. As requested, specific passages will be referred and quoted from A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It and The Merchant of Venice to support my position.


Firstly, as for the young’s confrontation to the elder, a case in point is Hermia’s resist against her father and her persistent pursuit of true love which may not suitable in the eyes of her parents.


EGEUS: consent to marry with Demetrius,

I beg the ancient privilege of Athens:

As she is mine, I may dispose of her;

Which shall be either to this gentleman

Or to her death, according to our law

Immediately provided in that case.(1.1.41-46)


THESEUS: what say you , Hermia? Be advised, fair maid,

To your father should be as a God,

One that composed your beauties, yea, and one

To whom you are but as a form in wax

By him imprinted and within his power

To leave the figure or disfigure it.(1.1.47-52)


HERMIA: I do entreat your grace to pardon me .

I know not by what power I am made bold,

Nor how it may concern my modesty

In such a presence here to plead my thoughts:

But I beseech your grace that I may know

The worst that may befall me I this case,

If I refuse to wed Demetrius.

THESEUS: either to die the death or to abjure

Forever the society of men. (1.1.60-68)


Secondly, for the higher position of love compared with wealth and fame, there are two examples from Shakespeare’s comedies. One is that in the comedy titled A Midsummer Night's Dream, and the other is in the play named As You Like It.

TOUCHSTONE: A poor virgin, sir, an ill-favored thing, sir, but mine own, a poor humour ogre mine, sir, to take that that no man else will. (5.4.49-50)


When Touchstone fell in love with a shepherdess named Audrey who is poor,  not good looking and not so smart, he proposed to her without considering the background.


OLIVER: Twice did he turn his back and purposed so,

But kindness, nobler ever than revenge,

And nature, stronger than his just occasions,

Made him give battle to the lioness,

Who quickly fell before him: in which hurtling

From miserable slumber I awaked.(4.3.126-131)


OLIVER: ‘Twas I, but’ tis not. I do net shame

To tell you what I was, since my conversion

So sweetly tastes, being the thing I am.(4.3.135-137)


So as Oliver. When Oliver did not know Celia herself is the princess, and thought she was just a shepherdess, he vowed to give up all the property, all to Orlando, as long as his life together with Celia.


Moreover, my favorite part of Maus’ interpretation is intelligent characters’ triumph over authoritative ones, which cheer the audiences greatly. For example, at the end of The Merchant of Venice, Baocia disguised himself as a doctor of law and appeared in a Venice court. With her use of resourceful wisdom, she finally defeated Sherlock, and saved Antonio’s life from being gouged out a piece of flesh. In this play, Shakespeare praised the love of happiness and valuable friendship while criticized the greed of human nature.


At last, when it comes to the convention of happiness-followers’ dominance over extremely calculating persons, a typical example in my mind is Antonio and Shylock from the classic play The Merchant of Venice. In the play, both Antonio and Shylock are merchants, but they are so different. Antonio cherishes friendship, and even borrows money from usurer and to die without regret; he is kind and generous and of the ancient Rome hero courage. In a word, he has decency, heavy feeling,  refined and cultured humanism. While Shylock is a greed, cold, inhuman usurer.


ANTONIO: Believe me, no;

I thank my fortune for it,

My ventures are not in one bottom trusted,

Nor to one place;

Nor is my whole estate

Upon fortune of this present year;

Therefore my merchandise makes me not sad.(1.1.)


ANTONIO: I am as like to call thee again,

To spite on thee again, to spurn thee too.

If thou wilt lend this money, lend it not

As to thy friends-for when did friendship take

A breed for barren metal of his friend?-

But lend it to thee enemy,

Who if he break out thou mayst with better face

Except the penalty. (1.3.)


SHYLOCK: The patch is kind enough, but a huge feeder,

Snail -slow in profit, and he sleeps by day

More than the wild-cat; drones hive not with me,

Therefore I part with him; and part with him

To one that I would have him help waste

His borrowed purse.

Well, Jeccica, go in;

Perhaps I will return immediately.

Do as I bid you, shut doors after you.

Fast bind, fast bind-

A proverb never stale in thrifty mind. (2.5.)

My question is that man’s dominance over women, although in the play As You Like It, Rosalind show us woman’s wit cannot be suppressed by men.


ROSALIND: Men are April when they woo,

December when they wed. Maids are may when they are maids,

But the sky changes when they are wives. (4.1.103-105)


ROSALIND: Make the doors upon a woman’s wit and it will out at the casement. Shut that and ‘twill out at the key-hole. Stop that, ‘twill fly with the smoke out at the chimney. (4.1.115-116)


Because we can see clearly Touchstone, as a man, whose disloyalty to love before his marriage with Audrey.


TOUCHSTONE: I am not in the mind but I were better time be married of him than that of another, for he is not like to marry me well, and not being well married, it will be a good excuse for me hereafter to leave my wife. (3.3.57-59)

TOUCHSTONE: I press here, sir, amongst the rest of the country copulatives, to swear and to forswear, according as marriage binds and blood breaks. (5.4.47-49)


But in general, all the comedies are ended with happiness and satisfaction, such as at the ending of As You Like It, Duke Frederick and Oliver are both converted to good persons.


JAQUES DE BOIS: Duke Frederick, hearing how that every day

Men of great worth resorted to this forest,

Addressed a mighty power, which we’re on foot,

In his own conduct, purposely to take

His brother here and put him to the sword:

And to the skirts of this wild wood he came;

Where, meeting with an old religious man,

After some question with him, was converted

Both from his enterprises and from the world,

His crown bequeathing to his banished brother,

And all their lands restored to them again

That were with with him exiled. (5.4.127-137)


In conclusion, as the character Jaques in Shakespeare’s comedy said: All the worlds stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exists and their entrances.” And in Shakespearean comedy is presented as a potential and unanticipated trend for the weak part to defeat the powerful one.


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