- from Shakespeare
The First Folio was published in 1623.
It divided Shakespeare’s plays into comedies, tragedies, and histories. Comedies are meant to make us laugh. Characters do silly things. They also learn lessons by having jokes played on them. For example, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bottom is an actor who takes himself too seriously. So he gets changed into a donkey, with long ears and a hairy face. To make things even sillier, the beautiful queen of the fairies, Titania, courts him. She is also under a spell. In Much Ado About Nothing, Beatrice and Benedick think they hate each other. They make fun of people in love. But their friends trick them into falling in love with each other. How? They say that each one is secretly in love with the other.
The comedies are love stories. They also have happy endings. But only after many problems are overcome. And even though young love wins in the end, Shakespeare has fun showing “what fools these mortals be.”