English Comedy

English Comedy

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Michael Cordner
Cambridge University Press
Edition: Revised ed., 7/30/2010
EAN 9780521032902, ISBN10: 0521032903

Paperback, 340 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.2 cm
Language: English

Why does comedy matter? Is it celebratory or subversive? What makes it flourish, and which creative forces resist it? English Comedy addresses these and related questions by invoking a variety of works from Aristophanes to Walt Disney, while focusing on the traditions of comic writing in England. Poetry, the novel and (above all) drama are examined to assess the constrictions and liberations of genre, the negotiations or divergences between comic practice and theory, and the dynamics of theatrical language. Ranging from medieval and Renaissance drama through Romantic poetry to twentieth-century literature and philosophy, English Comedy makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of the heritage of comic writing.

List of illustrations
Notes on contributors
1. Introduction Michael Cordner, Peter Holland and John Kerrigan
2. Crab's pedigree Richard Beadle
3. The comedian as the character C Stephen Orgel
4. Mixed verse and prose in Shakespearean comedy Jonas Barish
5. Much Ado About Nothing
the unsociable comedy Barbara Everett
6. Laughter, forgetting and Shakespeare Adrian Poole
7. Enigmatic Ben Jonson John Creaser
8. A New Way to Pay Old Debts
Massinger's grim comedy Martin Butler
9. 'Thou teachest me humanitie'
Thomas Heywood's The English Traveller Richard Rowland
10. Etherege's She Would If She Could
comedy, complaisance and anti-climax Michael Cordner
11. Rhyming as comedy
body, ghost and banquet Gillian Beer
12. Wordsworthian comedy Jonathan Wordsworth
13. Apeing romanticism Jonathan Bate
14. A complete history of comic noses John Kerrigan
15. Noël Coward and comic geometry Peter Holland
16. Ludwig Wittgenstein and the comedy of errors Eric Griffiths