Shakespeare is a name that specifies a unique co-existence of all dramatic features. It means an infinite arena where tragedy, humor, reality, clowns, fools, heroism, betrayal, sorcery, love – all get an incomparable and matchless shape in words. In truth, creating something unique and ever new is the signature style of the famous playwright. Shakespeare’s humorous touch in tragic art is one such ever glittering mark and trendsetter in the world of plays.
Yes, humor is not a separable thing in Shakespeare‘s creativity. It is a “permeating ingredient” in the playwright’s works that acts like a “common solvent.” Why common? Because it creates a platform where opposite thoughts, ideas, or different forms of life get melted into a “happy reconcilement.”
Humour in Shakespearean plays conceive seriousness in fun, innocence in mischief, and naive in cunning. But the question is, how has the playwright unlocked this feature in tragedies? The answer is the renowned dramatist has introduced fools, clowns, simpletons, and nincompoops in his famous tragedies to unlock the feature. Moreover, he has never revealed derision for them or made mockery for diminishing their valuable presence. In most of his tragic arts, these clowns and fools are associated with the plays’ main characters. They are, no doubt, the best tool for offering relief in tragic art.
One relevant thing is readers become familiar with the said characters with kindness and trust. In plays, they appear like an undertone of intense sentiment with profound impact. Their movement may remain noiseless and not acutely visible all the time, but that can not lessen their importance. In the guise of mirth and hilarity, an invisible law of humanity always keeps going in Shakespearean dramas. In a word, Shakespeare’s humorous touch in the tragic art help reducing the suffocating situation that emerges from the tragedy.
Amusement or fun is an indomitable desire that every human craves, especially in a dreadful situation. And laughing is the best instrument to get relief from that condition. Yes, people laugh to find comfort or relaxation in a heartbreaking or distressing situation. But if they do something better than laughing without even knowing it, they find themselves in a better state, far more beneficial and significant. Shakespeare’s humor is one such notable catalyst that eases the human mind with incomparable delight and laughter.
In a word, humor in Shakespeare’s deep tragedies possesses profound significance. His humor in the vital tragic scenes sustains the potency of both tears and smiles. In short, the said unique infusion is very much existent even in intense strains of Shakespearean tragedies. And the most remarkable thing is this infusion acts in such a way as to intensify the tragic impact.
Moreover, readers can feel that this act plays exquisitely underneath the most poignant scenes or scenarios in profound tragedies, and in addition, amplifying the pathos. According to William Hudson, from the Shakespearean perspective, comedy and tragedy “are not made up of different elements.” Instead, they are “of the same elements,” standing in different places and relations. More specifically, what is considered as the background or backdrop in a scenario becomes the foreground in the other one. Similarly, what is an undertone in a specific tragic scene becomes an overtone in the other one.
In true words, the pitiful and the laughable or foolish are sometimes appear as either excellent or less significant qualities of human life. Furthermore, these qualities certainly co-exist in human beings, maintaining an invisible rule of interdependence and mutualism or reciprocity. This law of co-existence finally unfolds an unrivaled dramatic touch in the Shakespearean works by transporting humor to draw the depths of serious thoughts.
By this act, the playwright makes laughter more refreshing and delightful. Also, through this invigorating feeling, the dramatist emerges as the king in making tragic ecstasies more appealing by taking rich and most colorful flavor from the humor, which acts as the secret undertone to light up the significance of the tragic subject matter. And most importantly, this entire proceeding makes the co-existence awful amusing.
Regarding Shakespeare’s humorous touch in tragic art, one essential perspective is indeed undeniable. It is now undebatable proven that the most appealing smiles are those that “play round the moistening eye” and narrate serious thoughts. Also, the sorrowful or saddest face puts on a joyous expression when the inner soul is bearing pathos. In actuality, a harmony of pity and humor is essential to balance and restore the concord or unanimity of a fine-tuned mind. And Shakespeare’s humorous touch delicately does that in the ever remarkable tragic plays.