Shakespeare – Module 5: Summary of Comedy – 4 of 6

WHAT: Today you will recap the conventions (ingredients) of comedy and have a go at applying some of those techniques yourself!

By the end of this study session you will be able to:

✔ List some of the conventions of comedy, such as incongruity.
✔ Create something that is funny!

Today you will need:
✎ A pen
☰ Some paper to write on
♫ Some headphones or a space where you can play videos out loud

1) Read though this presentation summarising the key rules of Shakespearean comedy.

I DO: Some words you may not understand:
implicit = when something is not directly said and the meaning is hidden
impasse = a situation in which no progress is possible, especially because of disagreement; a deadlock.
improbable = unlikely to happen or be true

N.B: Ignore the last 3 slides

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2) Match these terms with the definitions on the opposite side ➔
➊ incongruous
➋ exposition
➌ rising action
➍ turning point
➎ falling action
➏ conclusion
➐ instantaneous conversions
➑ stock characters

  • when a bad character changes to a good character
  • not in harmony or keeping with the surroundings or other aspects of something.
  • implicit conflict develops
  • a situation with tensions
  • things begin to get better
  • recognisable stereotypes for characters
  • conflict reaches its height (an impasse)
  • the problem is resolved

4) Watch this video about how to make things funny (5 minutes)

5) Now it’s time to have a go at writing something funny yourself! Choose from the list of ideas below:
✎ Write your own jokes and tell them to your family. How many laughs can you get?
✎ Write a short story containing stock comedy characters.
✎ Write a short play script that follows a similar structure to a Shakespearean comedy
✎ Pick your favourite funny film/TV show/book and explain what makes it funny using some of the language you have learnt today

6) Write a list of comedy conventions that you managed to include in your own writing.