6/10/2007

I didn't get it

So I am in a summer play, that I didn't want to do but am doing it for friends who didn't want to be alone. Just for the record. But we will be performing the play "Much Ado About Nothing". People tell me that this is supposed to be a comedy. I don't doubt them but any highschool student who claims that they laughed really hard at it, better be really smart. This appears to be a tragedy. All the jokes have to be made sense by our play director, and they tend to be minor and insignificant jokes. I just want to say to everyone as a reminder, "Don't be a poser". Don't just say you understand. Because, I know I don't and you don't either. You should only be allowed to say you understand it if you are really smart, or you life has been dedicated to the Shakespearean Era.

15 comments:

Lincoln Davis said...

What part are you playing? Who's directing?

Evan G. said...

Don John, Last years brit. lit. teacher, Mrs. Bogut.

Thomas Banks said...

Gunn-

Actually, though Much Ado About Nothing is unequivically a comedy, you're more right than you may believe- it's a fairly dark play, if you just read through it without reference to the movie version/bad community theatre adaptations that seem to come through here every few years. It's funny, but in a dark way.

Good luck with Don John.

RespectMyAuthorita said...

Dude davis and i were in that play and it was awesome. IT is an incredible comedy. I didnt think it was necessarily a dark comedy either. Gunn its easy to understand as well. Isaac and i were dogberry and his sidekick verges, it was rad.

Evan G. said...

Jason you only liked it because you were comic relief. You were the fool. Besides Tom agrees with me. And everyone knows Tom is always right. And yes, I am a butt kisser

RespectMyAuthorita said...

Why shouldnt I like it when I am Rad. How come the shows sold out every year i was in drama? People like rad funny people. Being good looking,hilarious,and awesome is a heavy burden to bear. But i bear it for all of us with great humility. And if you want to call me the fool thats fine, i just dont see how what i did is more foolish than your lips to tom's ass. Let me just remind you of one thing that helps me make sense of this situation. You like coldplay. enough said.

Matthew N. Petersen said...

Much Ado is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, but it isn't comical like say Dumb and Dumber. "Comedy" means something different in Shakespeare--it ends happily.

And I have never understood how Tom can think it's dark. Dark like Easter!

Thomas Banks said...

Among Shakespeare's comedies, yeah, I'd stand by that; the misogyny, the sexual intrigue-the only other W.S. comedy that rivals it for darkness is Measure for Measure.

I think people get misled because they think too much of Branaugh's interpretation, which is very warm and lusty. And while I wouldn't say that those elements aren't present in the text, there's more than the film is able to account for, funny as it was.

Matthew N. Petersen said...

"Troilus and Cressida"?

But I think you miss the point. Yes it's dark. Like Good Friday. But it isn't a dark comedy, like Catch-22. It ends with Hero justified by her resurrection! Easter season isn't dark!

Matthew N. Petersen said...

She is risen!

Thomas Banks said...

Matt-

As the complete title, "The Tragedy of Troylus and Cressida" would indicate, that play is not a comedy.

Lincoln Davis said...

Ooo, zing!

Matthew N. Petersen said...

From Wikipeida:

"Troilus and Cressida is a play by William Shakespeare. The play is considered an aberration by many. The Quarto edition labels it a history play with the title The Famous Historie of Troylus and Cresseid, but the First Folio classed it with the tragedies, under the title The Tragedie of Troylus and Cressida. The confusion is compounded by the fact that in the original pressing of the First Folio, the play's pages are unnumbered, and the title has obviously been squeezed into the Table of Contents. Based on this evidence, scholars believe it was a very late addition to the Folio, and therefore may have been added wherever there was room. The play is not a conventional tragedy, since its protagonist does not die, but it does end on a very bleak note with the death of the noble Trojan Hector and destruction of the love between Troilus and Cressida. Throughout, the tone lurches wildly between bawdy comedy and tragic gloom, and it is often difficult to understand how one is meant to respond to the characters."

So uh...concluding it isa tragedy based on its name, which is not its name, but only its first folio name, and into which it was squeezed is not quite so strong a proof as it seems.

And from Sparknotes:

"The genre classification of Troilus and Cressida has been in dispute from the beginning. Labeled a history play in an early folio, it bears superficial similarities to the tragedies, but lacks much of the typical tragic plot structure. Today, Troilus and Cressida is often grouped with the so-called "problem comedies"--with Measure for Measure and All's Well That Ends Well. All three share a dark, bitter wit and a pessimistic view of human relations that contrast sharply with earlier, sunnier comedies like Twelfth Night and As You Like It."

Matthew N. Petersen said...

And seeing All's well classified there with the "problem comedies" reminds me it is considerably darker than Nuch Ado likewise.

Wife married, imedately banished never to return till she's wearing her husband's ring, and bearing his child, disguises herself as a prostitute and sleeps with her husband (is this an allusion to Judah and Tamar?) comes back, is almost executed (more Judah and Tamar) but shows the ring, her husband is forced to take her, but wishes he didn't have to.

Yeah, I'd say that's considerably darker than Much Ado

Evan G. said...

but you got it off of wikipedia. Enough said.