Neil Rathmell – writer

150+ essays on literary topics

Tag Archives: comedy

Shakespeare the realist

Shakespeare could always see the funny side. His first comedy, A Comedy of Errors, was based on Menaechmi (The Twins) by the Roman playwright, Plautus, the Ben Elton of ancient … Continue reading

August 16, 2021 · Leave a comment

Why do people find Chekhov boring?

The short answer is that in Chekhov’s plays nothing happens. His subject is boredom. Nobody actually says, as Estragon says at the beginning of Waiting for Godot, “Nothing to be … Continue reading

November 17, 2020 · Leave a comment

The comedy of Troilus and Cressida

Troilus and Cressida is sometimes thought of as one of Shakespeare’s Problem Plays, but I think of it as a comedy. Not a romantic comedy, like A Midsummer Night’s Dream … Continue reading

November 1, 2016 · Leave a comment

Modern theatre’s debt to Ben Jonson

Comedies are not easy to read. In tragedy words are everything, in comedy it is the action, the way the characters interact, that matters. Every comedian knows that the laugh … Continue reading

February 5, 2014 · Leave a comment