Lovers, Clowns, and Fairies: An Essay on Comedies

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, Jun 15, 1993 - Humor - 272 pages
0 Reviews
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.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

What are men to rocks and mountains?
58
The Man of Mode
90
The Conscious Lovers
118
Measure for Measure
138
Volpone
174
The Cherry Orchard
198
A pause
226
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1993)

Stuart M. Tave, William Rainey Harper Professor in the College and professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago, is the author of several books, including Some Words of Jane Austen.

Bibliographic information