What Is a Comedy?

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A comedy is a performance with a happy ending where good wins out over all the problems in the story. It is meant to make its audience laugh. A comedy comes in the form of movies, plays or television shows and is intended mostly for entertainment, though it sometimes holds certain messages the writer intends to convey.

A comedy generally has a great deal of deception in it. The main character or characters are frequently victims of this deception and, through no fault of their own, have their lives turned upside down by it. Finally, all the mishaps and confusion get straightened out, and the characters are able to go in a new happier direction without any permanent scars from all that has transpired. Comedies go back to the ancient Greeks, where performances were attended by people from all walks of life. Through the years, comedies have served as a way to gently — and sometimes not so gently — poke fun at various aspects of society. The family is a recurring theme in many comedies. William Shakespeare was considered a dramatic genius in both tragedies and comedies. Examples of his famous comedies are "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Much to Do About Nothing" and "The Merchant of Venice."