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Shakespeare's Three Comedies Essay

1770 words - 8 pages

Characters:
Katherine - elder daughter of Baptista Minola; main character in The Taming of the Shrew.
Hermia - character in A Midsummer Night's Dream who has two men in love with her.
Lysander - character in A Midsummer Night's Dream; the lover of Hermia.
Viola - character in Twelfth Night; a lady of Messaline shipwrecked on the coast of Illyria who later disguised herself as Cesario.
Olivia - character in Twelfth Night; an Illyrian countess.

Summary:
The Taming of the Shrew deals with the concepts of love and marriage. It shows the
different ways of courtship and marriage, and how the characters cope up with the
partner he or she has chosen. At first ...view middle of the document...

Theseus and Hippolyta are about to be married. They are making
preparations for their wedding day. Then enters Egeus with his daughter Hermia and her
two suitors, Demetrius, the man her father wants her to marry, and Lysander, the man she
wants to marry. Egeus demands that Hermia marry Demetrius or else face death. Theseus
gives her a few days to think about it, after which she must come back and choose
between marriage to Demetrius, death, or life in a convent.
Hermia and her lover Lysander plan to run away. The only person Hermia tells
their plan to is her friend, Helena. Helena is in love with Demetrius and tells him the
plan, hoping to win his favor. Demetrius goes off to pursue Hermia, while all the while,
Helena is pursuing him. The King of the Fairies sees Helena and takes pity on her. He
calls Puck to find a magic flower which will make a person fall in love with the first thing
he sees. Puck messes up and somehow Lysander and Demetrius both fall in love with
Helena, creating an all-new triangle with Hermia now excluded. Helena and Hermia each
think that this is all just a cruel joke played on them. In the end, the four lovers are put to
sleep and brought together. Lysander is cured of his love for Helena. The four of them
return to Theseus. Lysander loves Hermia again and Demetrius now loves Helena. The
three couples marry on the same day.

In the Twelfth Night, Orsino is already courting the countess Olivia who has sworn
off men. A brother and a sister are shipwrecked and are separated, each fearing that the
other is dead. Viola, the sister, disguises herself as Cesario and enters into the service of
Orsino. Orsino sends her to Olivia to make Olivia fall in love with him. But Viola is
Falling in love with Orsino, and Olivia falls in love with Cesario (Viola in disguise).
Later on, Viola's brother Sebastian comes across the countess. She proposes to him,
thinking that he is Cesario. Believing that neither of them are mad, he accepts, and can
hardly believe his good fortune. Orsino is outraged at the betrayal and confronts the real
Cesario this time. Cesario removes his disguise and reveals himself to be Viola. Orsino
marries Viola and Olivia marries Sebastian. Brother and sister are reunited and they all
live happily ever after.

Reaction:
The Taming of the Shrew

I found the first part of the play to be quite funny. Here the lord and his servants
play a joke on poor Sly. He is made to believe that he is a great lord who had lost his
memory for many years. He is dressed in fine clothes and given all sorts of nice stuff to
eat and drink. The lord's page disguises himself as a woman and claims to be his wife.
Sly apparently believes her. That guy must have been clueless. The lord and his men
were pretty mean but had a good laugh, giving us, the readers, a good enough laugh too.

Baptista Minola declares that Katherine must marry first...

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