Comedy lesson 5 and 6

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Comedy lesson 5 and 6-handout required

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Comedy lesson 5 and 6

  1. 1. Much Ado About Nothing William Shakespeare AQA English Literature – Unit 2 Dramatic Genres Week 3 Lessons 5 and 6
  2. 2. Starter: Many Shakespeare’s comedy plays, such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream for instance, have multiple plots within them that intertwine. Could you argue this is true for Much Ado Nothing? If so what plots might they be?
  3. 3. Much Ado About Nothing plots: The basic structure of the play is three different plot lines which are intertwined: 1. Claudio and Hero: the conventional young lovers who have a crisis in their relationship and then are reunited at the end of the play. 2. Dogberry: a bumbling amateur policeman, who with his associates, the volunteer watchmen, figure in the action when they catch the bad guys. 3. Beatrice and Benedick: two battling, witty lovers who begin the play hating each other and end up in a different kind of loving relationship.
  4. 4. Language terms • • • • • • • • Affectation • Anachronistic • Bawd • Beaus Black Comedy • • Clown • Complicit • Farce Fops • Inversion • theory • Moral Double • Pastoral • Patriarchal • Presentism Rakes Soliloquy Subversive Transgression Travesty Trickster Urban
  5. 5. Act 1 Scene 1 Task 1: Discuss how does the theme of deception link to Beatrice and Benedick?
  6. 6. Act 1 Scene 1 Task 1: Discuss how does the theme of •Beatrice and Benedick’s deception is used to create deception link to Beatrice and humour in the play. Benedick? •Deception is what brings them together. •…At the beginning of the play, the audience are able to see their feelings towards one another even if they are deceiving themselves and each other.
  7. 7. Act 1 Scene 1 Beatrice and Benedick’s opening exchanges create humour and establishes the ‘merry war of words’ between Beatrice and Benedick •Read Act 1 Scene 1 of MAAN paying attention to the witty exchange and repartee between Beatrice and Benedick. Task 3: Plan an answer for at least one of the following questions (Write the question down you will need it later!): 1. To what extent does the first Act conform to the Comedy genre? 2. How is Language used in the first Act? 3. How is Act One used to introduce the major themes of the play? 4. How is Act One used to set the tone and atmosphere of the play? In each question you must include: Select Evidence from the text Themes Context Characterisation Use Key terms Use conventions of Comedy
  8. 8. Much Ado About Nothing William Shakespeare AQA English Literature – Unit 2 Dramatic Genres Week 3 Lessons 5 and 6
  9. 9. The Comic Genre Aristotle’s Poetics gives us a detailed and decisive text upon which to base our understanding of the tragic genre. However, Aristotle did not write about the comic genre in detail. Instead, much of understanding of how comedy is constructed in a structural sense comes from the work of Donatus and Euanthius.
  10. 10. Donatus & Euanthius In his text, On Comedy, Donatus points to four distinct elements that combine to create the comic genre. Euanthius then develops the structural foundations of ‘comedy’ as for drama. 1. The Prologue – ‘the first speech’, ‘a kind of preface to the drama’ 2. The Protasis – ‘the first action of the story, where the plot of the story is explained, although some is held back from the audience to arouse suspense among the audience. 3. The Epitasis – ‘the complication of the story, by excellence of which its elements are intertwined 4. The Catastrophe – ‘the unravelling’ and then ‘the resolution of the course of events so that there is a happy ending which is made evident to all by the recognition of past events’.
  11. 11. Donatus & Euanthius ...gave us a template against which we can identify the central structural elements of the ‘comedy’ in terms of genre. In addition, as with all generic conventions, the structure is open to subversion at the playwrights will. Starter: Try to identify the four elements of ‘comedy’ in Much Ado About Nothing.
  12. 12. Subversion Drama (and comedy in particular) will always question, challenge and subvert the status-quo. Comedy can often be described a risqué – we may question whether a joke is acceptable or whether It has ‘crossed the line’. This debate is a the very heart of comedy – the role of comedy is to mock, challenge, and transgress.
  13. 13. Subversion 1) Drama (and comedy in particular) will always question, Read the essay Comedy: Morality challenge and subvert the status-quo. & Conflict 2) Comedy aspects of society arerisqué – we may or Which can often be described a being mocked question whether a joke is acceptable or whether It challenged and in what way? has ‘crossed the line’. 3) This debate is afar you think of comedy – theconforms Decide how the very heart Shakespeare role of or subverts the challenge, and transgress. comedy is to mock,comic conventions in Much Ado
  14. 14. Characterisation in MAAN 1. 2. 3. 4. Looking at Act Two of the play. Considering.. How the characters work as opposites to one another. How characters conform to /defy gender expectations? At the conflicts and allegiances made between characters. Hierarchy. OPPOSITION is key to characterisation in MAAN. TASK: Discuss the following questions in pairs: 1. Which characters in MAAN can be seen as opposites? 2. How do these characters work as opposites to one another?
  15. 15. Characterisation and gender roles in MAAN Opposition defines the four principal characters of the play and develops throughout the five acts. These oppositions can be split along the lines of GENDER ... so we see the two men and two women representing opposites of one another. There is a duality of characterisation at work in the play: Claudio’s highlights Benedick’s cynicism. Hero’s subservience emphasises Beatrice’s assertive nature.
  16. 16. Characterisation and gender roles in MAAN Opposition defines the four principal characters of the play and develops throughout the five acts. These oppositions can be split along the lines of GENDER ... so we see the two men and two women representing opposites of one another. There is a duality of characterisation at work in the play: Claudio’s highlights Benedick’s cynicism. Hero’s subservience emphasises Beatrice’s assertive nature.
  17. 17. Characterisation and gender roles in MAAN TASK: Complete the table below for Benedick and Claudio, and Beatrice and Hero to identify their immediate oppositions – give textual evidence to support your idea. BENEDICK Gender Characteristic Expectation Evidence CLAUDIO Characteristic Evidence Evidence HERO Characteristic Evidence seen BEATRICE Gender Characteristic Expectation seen Extension Question What is the dramatic purpose of these oppositions?
  18. 18. Characterisation and gender roles in MAAN TASK: Complete the table below for Benedick and Claudio, and Beatrice and Hero toShakespeareimmediate oppositions – give identify their establishes textual evidence to support your idea. these oppositions to BENEDICK Gender Characteristic Expectation enhanceCLAUDIO play’s drama. the Evidence Characteristic Evidence seen BEATRICE Gender Characteristic Expectation seen Equally, these oppositions tell us something of the HERO society in which the Evidence Characteristic Evidence characters exist. Extension Question What is the dramatic purpose of these oppositions?
  19. 19. Homework Answer the question you planned for earlier and one of the following: 1) How far are the relationships within MAAN typical of the comic genre? 2) To what extent do the characters of MAAN subvert the expected gender roles? 3) How far do you agree with the following statement: Opposition defines the four principal characters of the play. 4) In what ways does MAAN conform or subvert the expected norms of society? Rules: • Answers cannot exceed 500 words per question • Quotations must not exceed 14 words maximum • In each question you must include: Select Evidence from the text Themes Context Characterisation Use Key terms Use conventions of Comedy

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