Elements of Comedy

" O Wherefore Art Thou Comedy in This play?

Scholarly Reference


In the scholarly source "Comedy in the Renaissance" by James Cook , it thoroughly explains the comedy throughout history in literature and how its seen all throughout the world. Comedy refers to entertainment, amusement, and delights that the reader receives through its humor, wit, and/or ridicule. Throughout the play “Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)” elements of comedy are very evident as it inputs two of Shakespeare’s best-known tragedies, Othello and Romeo and Juliet into modern time. Author, Ann-Marie Macdonald takes us from an office at Queens university, to Constance Ledbelly propelling though a rabbit hole into the intense and tragic scenes of both the Shakespearean plays. Due to Constance’s presences, it transforms these tragedies into comedies. The element of comedy within this play are the different forms of world play, gender bending, and the archetype of a wise fool. These elements display a sense of comic relief towards the audience which interests and entertains the audience.

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It's a text-to-text!

In the play Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), there are many similar aspects that can be seen in the comedy-drama musical play in the Wizard of Oz. Like Dorthy, Constance is warped into a different dimension that leads her into a world that she is unfamiliar with. Both characters are longing to go back to their homes where every thing was normal. However, they do not know that they have a purpose as to why they're in the world they are in. Constance falls into the world of Othello and Romeo and Juliet, where she is able to resolve conflicts among the different characters in the plays. Here, Constance is able to discover herself as being more strong, courageous, and confident with herself. Likewise, Dorthy is whisked away in the land of Oz. She creates a bond with different creatures, and together they go on a journey to bring the wizard the wicked witch's broom and save Oz. Here, Dorthy learns about trust, friendship, courage, and bravery.
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"Quotations" from the play

Word Play (pg.73-74)
- Ghost: 'A fo-o-ol's cap."
- Ghost: "Na-a-ay. You're it."
- Constance: 'Yorick?!
- Ghost: "A lass."
- Constance: "Alas!"

Wise fool
- Constance: "I'm it?... I'm it. I'm the fool!" (pg 87.)

Gender bending
- Juliet "I know not how to tell thee whom. My sex, dear boy, is hateful to myself, because it is an enemy to thee; therefore I wear tonight, this boyish hose. (pg. 67)

- Romeo "... Constantine... it is I romiet..." (pg 72)

Work cited

Cook, James. Encyclopedia of Renaissance Literature, Second Edition. New York: Facts On File,
2014. Infobase eBooks. Web. 7 June.

Werlock, Abby. Encyclopedia of the American Short Story, 2-Volume Set, Third Edition. New
York: Facts On File, 2013. Infobase eBooks. Web. 7 June 2016.