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1.The grammatical meaning, the grammatical form, the grammatical paradigm.
The basic notions of Grammar are the grammatical meaning, the grammatical form and the
grammatical category. The word combines in its semantic structure two meanings – lexical
and grammatical. Lexical meaning is the individual meaning of the word (e.g. table).
Grammatical meaning is the meaning of the whole class or a subclass. Grammatical
meaning differs from any other sort of meaning in four features. 1. GRAMMATICAL
OBLIGATORY. The grammatical meaning may be explicit and implicit. The implicit
grammatical meaning is not expressed formally. The explicit grammatical meaning is
always marked morphologically – it has its marker. The implicit grammatical meaning
may be of two types – general and dependent. The general grammatical meaning is the
meaning of the whole word-class, of a part of speech (e.g. nouns – the general
grammatical meaning of thingness). The dependent grammatical meaning is the meaning
of a subclass within the same part of speech. 2. Oppositions The unity of the general
meaning and its particular manifestations which is revealed through the opposition of
forms is a grammatical category. Any grammatical category must be represented by at
least two grammatical forms (e.g. the grammatical category of number – singular and
plural forms). The relation between two grammatical forms differing in meaning and
external signs is called opposition – book::books (unmarked member/marked member).
All grammatical categories find their realization through oppositions, e.g. the grammatical
category of number is realized through the opposition singular :: plural. A minimal (twomember) opposition is called binary. Oppositions may be of three main types: 1) privative;
2) equipollent; 3) gradual. In the process of communication grammatical categories may
undergo the processes of transposition and neutralization. 3. Grammatical Categories A
grammatical category is a general meaning realised through a formal and meaningful
opposition of variants of one and the same unit and is obligatorily expressed by all units of
the class. It means that a category consists of at least two forms. We shall call these forms
of a unit opposed to each other categorical forms. 4. Paradigm All the forms that are
necessary to represent all the grammatical categories of a unit make up its paradigm. Since
grammatical categories are obligatory, this set of forms should be found with each element
of the class to which the unit belongs.
Shakespeare's Comedy
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is considered to be the greatest writer in English
Literature. He composed over 150 sonnets and wrote some of the most famous plays in the
English language. His plays are generally categorised as Comedies, Tragedies and
Comedy is not necessarily what a modern audience would expect comedy to be. Whilst
there may be some funny moments, a Shakespearean comedy may involve some very
dramatic storylines. Usually what defines a Shakespearean play as a comedy is that it has a
happy ending, often involving a marriage.
Marriage plays an important role in all of Shakespearean comedies. It becomes an
obsession and prime concern of the main characters to get engaged and married to the lady
or gentleman of their choice. That’s why; we can observe the characters engaged in silly
pursuits to materialize their dreams of marriage. It is the element of marriage that resolves
all the issues and brings an end to the long lasting riddles and rivalry recurring throughout
the comedy. For example, in Twelfth Night, we observe that Viola enters into wedlock
with Orsino and Olivia gets married to Sebastian, the brother of Viola. Thus, it resolves
the issue of mistaken identity. Olivia comes to know that Cesario is actually a female,
named Viola, while Orsino also comes to know about the real identity of Viola.
The theme of love runs through all comedies of Shakespeare. For instance, there is a
chain of love in Twelfth Night. In this beautiful comedy, we observe that Viola is in love
with Orsino, Orsino is having a crush on Olivia, and Olivia is in love with Cesario. That’s
why; it makes it the most delightful comedy of Shakespearean Comedies. Every one of
them feels depressed due to having sentimental love for each other.The main
characteristics in Shakespeare's Comedies are:
A struggle of young lovers to overcome problems, often the result of the interference of
their elders
There is some element of separation and reunification
Mistaken identities, often involving disguise
Mistaken Identity is another important feature of Shakespearean comedy. Shakespeare
employs the element of mistaken identity in his comedies to create fun and irony. It is one
of the best tools for Shakespeare to give a twist to the story and achieve the purpose of
giving entertainment to his readers. Mistaken identity is produced In Twelfth Night
through the introduction of twins, i.e., Sebestian and Viola, who are mistaken for one
another by other characters. For example, Sebastian is mistaken for Cesario by Olivia,
while Viola is mistakenly thought to be a male. Though, she is a girl, yet she is considered
to be a male as she disguises herself as a servant to Duke Orsino. Similarly, in The
Merchant of Venice, Portia disguises herself as Balthazar to act as a lawyer to defend
Antonio against Shylock, who is determined to cut a pound of flesh off his body for failing
to pay him (Shylock) his debt. Thus, mistaken identity is the part and parcel of
Shakespearean comedy.
Without humour, no play can be considered a comedy. Rather, it would be termed as a
tragedy. That’s why; like other comedies, humour is an integral part of Shakespearean
comedy. Shakespeare is the master of producing robust laughter and fun through various
means in his comedies. He produces humour through puns, ironies, masquerade, bawdy
jokes, mistaken identity and satire. It should be kept in mind that Shakespeare uses
humour in such a way that we laugh at the follies of human beings instead of having
hatred for them. Thus, he uses humour as a way of mild satire instead of lashing at the
follies of human beings.
A clever servant
Family tensions that are usually resolved in the end
Complex, interwoven plot-lines
Frequent use of puns and other styles of comedy
What is Pun?
According to Britinica Encyclopaedia:
" Pun, also called paronomasia, a humorous use of a word in such a way as to suggest
different meanings or applications, or a play on words,
Pun in Shakespearean Comedy
Pun is a figure of speech, wherein the sound of a word is used in such a way in a sentence
that it may create a sort of confusion in terms of its meanings for the readers. Shakespeare
is a great lover of puns and he uses them frequently in all of his comedies to create fun,
laughter and confusion in the minds of his readers. He leaves the readers to derive the
meaning for themselves from the puns employed by him. His puns may be funny, silly and
lewd. Whatever may be the case, the reader gets astonished about Shakespeare’s mastery
over the use of puns in his comedies.
Buffoonery is another feature of Shakespearean comedy. Every single comedy of
Shakespeare has got a fool or a clown, who provides humour in the play. Fool is a special
kind of character in a typical Shakespearean comedy, who has got the gift of gab. They are
witty and they know how to reply a person during an argument. They speak in such a way
that they are able to get the better of people. Shakespeare uses them to create fun, humour
and laughter in his comedies. They are very much like jokers and jesters, who amuse
people through their witty and funny remarks. One of the best purposes of using clowns in
comedies is that they act as a messenger and mediator between various characters.
The Shakespearean plays which are usually classed as Comedy are:
The Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, All's Well That Ends Well, The Tempest, Taming
of the Shrew, The Winter's Tale, As You Like It, The Comedy of Errors, Love's Labours
Lost, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Merry Wives of
Windsor, Measure for Measure, Much Ado About Nothing, Pericles, Prince of Tyre and
The Two Noble Kinsmen.
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a comedy written by William Shakespeare in 1595/96. It
portrays the events surrounding the marriage of Theseus, the Duke of Athens,
to Hippolyta (the former queen of the Amazons). These include the adventures of four
young Athenian lovers and a group of six amateur actors (the mechanicals) who are
controlled and manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest in which most of the play
is set. The play is one of Shakespeare's most popular works for the stage and is widely
performed across the world.