They are comedies, however, because of the light dialogue and funny characters that plays off the tragic situations in which the characters are embroiled, thus transforming the situation from dark to light. Dramas with an underlying current of comedy, on the other hand, also deal with serious matters and the serious matters are handled, by and large, in a serious way. The overall tone of the play is darker than comedies with dramatic elements. However, the characters provide funny dialogue that lighten up the mood of the play. One such play is The Gin Game, a play that is depressing and sad, yet, if one’s comic sensibilities are in tune with the main protagonist, it is also a bit of a farce at times.
William Shakespeare was one of the early playwrights who blended the elements of light and dark in many of his plays. He had dramas that had comic elements, such as Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet - both of those dramas derived their comic elements from certain characters, such as the nurse in Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet) and the “foolish prating knave” Polonius in Hamlet. (Shakespeare, Hamlet, p. 216). Although these plays would not be considered comedies they are, like The Gin Game, tragic dramas that have some light elements or comic relief. There are other plays by Shakespeare that defy definition of tragedy and comedy, as they have clear elements of both. One is All’s Well The Ends Well, a comedy that has elements of tragedy in the form of betrayal, desertion, loss and mourning. (Dunton-Downer and Riding, 2004, p. 159). Measure For Measure is another comedy that has the elements of tragedy, in that it ends with an ordered execution and enforced marriage. (Shakespeare, Measure for Measure).
From the origins in the early plays of William Shakespeare, dramedy has evolved. In today’s dramedies, one of the elements that mark this genre ...
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