© 2008

Comedy Matters

From Shakespeare to Stoppard

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. William W. Demastes
    Pages 1-9
  3. William W. Demastes
    Pages 11-28
  4. William W. Demastes
    Pages 29-52
  5. William W. Demastes
    Pages 53-84
  6. William W. Demastes
    Pages 85-102
  7. William W. Demastes
    Pages 127-152
  8. William W. Demastes
    Pages 179-184
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 185-203

About this book


Comedy Matters traces the long tradition of the expansive comic embrace of cultural difference and diversity that manages to survive even in some of mankind s darkest moments. Demastes argues that comedy has a hard-nosed, pragmatic dimension that can be mobilized against belligerent cultural forces. Drawing from the works of Shakespeare, Stoppard, and a number of other comic masters, Comedy Matters demonstrates how comedy continues to work against cultural regimentation by striving to re-calibrate our decision-making processes and challenging the stultifying rigidity of human economy in the broadest sense of the term.


comedy Tom Stoppard William Shakespeare

About the authors

WILLIAM B. DEMASTES is Professor of English at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, USA.

Bibliographic information


"Demastes' study is a thoughtful, cogent, and, ultimately, very useful consideration of comedy, an oft overlooked and certainly under theorized genre of dramatic literature . . ..that it is simultaneously theoretically perceptive and lucid. The study could well be viewed as an example of contemporary theatre scholarship at its best." - Jonathan Chambers, Bowling Green State University