Lovers, Clowns, and Fairies: An Essay on Comedies
Through dreams and shadows and strangeness, through blinding charms and eye-opening counter-charms, through moments of mortification and laughter—thus Stuart M. Tave traces the journey of the lovers, clowns, and fairies who populate comedies from A Midsummer Night's Dream to Waiting for Godot. Tave avoids the pitfalls of theory, taking instead a close look at particular works to give us a sense of the relations between certain dramas and novels that are called comedies. The result is a wonderfully readable book that renews our delight in the enchanting possibilities of literature.
A Midsummer Night's Dream, in its "perfection," is Tave's point of departure. Its characters fall neatly into the three groups of Tave's title and fulfill to perfection their functions of desire, foolishness, and power. From the magical concord of Shakespeare's resolution, Tave moves to works whose character face ever greater difficulties in reaching a happy conclusion. From Jonson and Austen to Chekhov and Beckett, he meets comedies on their own terms, illuminating the complex and individual genius of each. A masterpiece of practical criticism, Lovers, Clowns, and Fairies rediscovers the pleasure of reading comedies.
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Angelo Anya begin Bellair Bellinda better Bevil Junior Bingley blind Bonario brother certainly characters Charlotte charm cherry orchard Claudio clever clowns Comedy Conscious Lovers Corbaccio course dance Darcy death Demetrius desire Devil Dorimant Duke Duke-Friar earth Elizabeth Elizabeth Bennet Escalus eyes fairies father feel fool Fopling Gaev Godot happy Harriet hear heaven hell Hermia human imagination Isabella Jane Jane Austen journey Juan kind lady language laugh laughter live look Lopahin Loveit Lucio Lyubov magic marry masters of reality Measure for Measure Medley Midsummer Night's Dream mind mortal mortifying Mosca nature never night Octavius play problem Puck Ramsden Samuel Beckett says scene Sealand seems sort speak story strange talk tells Theseus thing thought tion trick Tristram Trofimov truth turns uncle Toby understand Varya vision Volpone Waiting for Godot wants woman word young lovers