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Word Count: 916
To create humor in drama one must either make witty wordplay create an amusing situation or use physical comedy Often jokes may be incorporated into a play or a comic situation may result in a series of complicated antics The tradition for some of these comic devices has been carried over for hundreds of years dating back to Shakespeare in the 1600s In his play A Midsummer Nights Dream Shakespeare creates humor through three diverse devices oxymorons malapropisms and mistaken identities All result in a farcical mix of comic situations Wordplay such as the use of oxymorons is an abundant source of humor in Shakespeare The word oxymoron comes from the Greek meaning pointedly foolish Pointedly foolish certainly applies to the mechanicals whose ignorance provides the root of all their comedy in the play For example Quince refers to the play of Pyramus and Thisbe as the most lamentable comedy Iii 9 This does not make much sense since we would hardly express sorrow over a comedy However as it turns out the pathetic production they eventually put on is so bad it actually is lamentable When Bottom says Ill speak in a monstrous little voice Iii 43 he surely does not mean a voice which is both monstrous and little for something cannot be both monstrous and little What Bottom is trying to say is that he will speak in a very little voice Bottom does not realize what he has said and creates amusing confusion for the reader One of Helenas oxymorons is in Act 3 scene 2 line 129 oh devilish- holy fray Obviously something cannot be devilish and holy at the same time and by most peoples standards the devil certainly is not pious The ignorance of Bottom and his friends
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