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It’s a commonplace that the difference between comedy and tragedy is that the former ends with a wedding, the latter with most of the players dead, but the differences are rarely so simplistic. In Shakespeare’s comedies an enemy can become a lover, a pageboy transform into a bride and a betrayer become a husband. In this Delve we’ll examine three classic plays to explore their complicated messages about gender, trust and romantic compatibility.
Reading List: Much Ado about Nothing; The Taming of the Shrew; Twelfth Night (recommended editions: Folger Shakespeare Library)
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Joanna Stein holds master’s degrees in English Literature and Education from Portland State. A former radio producer for NPR, she now works full time teaching Language Arts at a Lake Oswego high school. This is her fourth season working with Literary Arts.