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NEIL SIMON UTILIZING CHARACTER EXAGGERATION Neil Doc Simon stands alone as by far the most successful American playwright of this century and most probably in the history of the American theater Litz 573 He has entertained audiences for over thirty years with many Broadway productions screenplays and television scripts He has been hailed as the most formidable comedy writer in American theater Geitner 253 Despite his great success the majority of critics have refused to look past Simons detonatingly funny quips and punchlines to the subject matter in his plays Geitner 253 He has been virtually ignored by these literary critics who routinely dismiss him as a writer of popular comedies that cater to the tastes of a well-established and loyal audience Litz 573 It is occasionally true that Simon sacrifices meaning and depth for a good joke but even in Simons lightest comedies there are undertones of seriousness Geitner 253 Simon illustrates serious themes through the medium of comedy He conveys the conflict while at the same time cracks a joke According to Simon My idea of ultimate achievement in a comedy is to make a whole audience fall onto floor writhing and laughing so hard that some of them pass out Geitner 254 Simon uses different elements to put stress on the conflict and also to aid in the humor of his plays The jokes that Simon produces arise from the situation usuallybrought forth by variegated elements one of which is character exaggeration In two of his early plays Come Blow Your Horn and Last of the Red Hot Lovers Simon utilizes character exaggeration In each of these plays the conflicts are aided by the exaggeration of the characters which reveals each characters personality clearly and accurately Situations are intensified and apparent thus the underlying conflict is easily perceived The character exaggeration also promotes themes that arise throughout Simons plays Neil Simons Come Blow Your Horn
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