discuss the principal elements of comedy and tragedy

Discuss the view that it is the comic elements in King Lear that heighten the tragedy for the audience.


1. discuss the principal elements of comedy and tragedy in text as well as in film performance;
2. apply appropriate analytical and critical techniques, and theoretical models, to the written plays and film adaptations under scrutiny;
3. relate the written and texts and film adaptations studied to appropriate social, historical and cultural contexts and to the construction of those contexts; and
4. analyse written texts and their film adaptations in detail and with precision so as to achieve the above.

Without repeating too much biographical information, students should demonstrate their general awareness of the historical and social context in which the plays have been written and about which they have been written. A brief historical and social context facilitates and enriches the understanding and the enjoyment of literature. Students should also read critical material on the texts which they have chosen and critically engage with secondary sources.
All sources of references must be cited (in text citation) and listed (end reference list).

in terms of references all must be scholarly and mostly from published articles and or books on the subject matter
• Represents a conflict terminating in a catastrophe
• 3 Parts:
• 1. Exposition (Act 1)
• 2. Beginning, growth and vicissitudes of conflict (2nd, 3rd and 4th Acts)
• 3. Issue of conflict in a catastrophe (Act 5)
• Scenes of high tension in King Lear longer than scenes of low tension
• Act 1 and Act 4: relatively quiet acts
• Act 3 – highly critical, high tension.
• Scenes of high tension (ii, iv, vi) (95, 186 and 122 lines long)
• Scenes of low tension (i, iii, v) (55, 26, 26)

Definition of Comedy: A type of drama in which the characters experience reversals of fortune, usually for the better. In comedy, things work out happily in the end. Comic drama may be either romantic–characterized by a tone of tolerance and geniality–or satiric. Satiric works offer a darker vision of human nature, one that ridicules human folly. Usually ends in a marriage or other happy event.

Definition of Tragedy:
A type of drama in which the characters experience reversals of fortune, usually for the worse. In tragedy, catastrophe and suffering await many of the characters, especially the hero. Usually ends in a death or other tragic/unhappy event.

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