• Types of Comedy


    1. The Romantic Comedy
      1. concerned with a love affair that involves a beautiful and idealized heroine
      2. the course of love does not run smoothly
      3. all obstacles are overcome, and it ends with a happy union
      4. Examples: As You Like It (1599-1600) and The Taming of the Shrew (1593-1594) by William Shakespeare


    1. The Satiric Comedy
      1. ridicules political policies or philosophical doctrines
      2. attacks the disorder of society by making the violators of its own standards of morals or manners look ridiculous
      3. Examples: “A Modest Proposal” (1729) and Gulliver’s Travels (1726) by Jonathan Swift


    1. The Comedy of Manners
      1. deals with the relations and intrigues of men and women living in a polished and sophisticated society
      2. comic effect is in great part dependent upon the wit and sparkle of the dialogue – often in the form of repartee (a witty conversational give-and-take which constitutes a kind of verbal fencing match)
      3. Examples: The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) by Oscar Wilde and Pygmalion (1913) by Bernard Shaw


    1. The Farce
      1. comedy designed to provoke the audience to simple, hearty laughter
      2. often uses highly exaggerated or caricatured character types and puts them into improbable and ludicrous situations
      3. makes use of broad verbal humor and physical horseplay
      4. often used in episodes of more complex comedy, as in William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew


    1. The Comedy Drama
      1. serious drama interspersed with comic elements
      2. Example: Scrubs
    2. The Comedy of Ideas
                   a. discussion of philosophy, theory, or religion dominates
                   b. characters practice their various theories
                   c. Example: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead 

         VII.  Low Comedy
                  a. loud noises, prat falls, slap-stick
                  b. bodily functions are often a source of laughter
                  c. often associated with farce

         VIII. High Comedy
                  a. intellectual humor
                  b.  often included in satire, comedy of ideas, and comedy of manners