Over the weekend, a comment came up in conversation (re: As You Like It) that I would apparently not like it, as I'm more into the tragedies. (This said by the neighbor who, a few years ago, we attended Taming of the Shrew with where we argued about the relative merits of Shrew v. Hamlet). Here's what came out of me, on the fly:
"You want to know the difference between tragedy and comedy, as far as mass appeal goes? For the tragedies, you can go see one 50 times, and every single time you'll walk away saying 'Wow, I never thought about it in that way before.' There's just that much depth in them, that you always see something new, something to think about, every time.
The comedies on the other hand, excepting the few really great ones, are pretty much the same shallow sort of stuff whenever and however you see it. Miscommunication, slapstick...it's like seeing a romantic comedy in the movie theatre. You might like it, you might come away saying it was good, but a few weeks later it's not like you're still talking about how it gave you something to think about, and nobody's in a rush to go make it again and interpret it differently. It is what it is.
So where's the gap? Simple - the academics, and the Shakespeare geeks like me, we are the sort who will go see a play 50 times, and look at the differences each time and think about what they mean. But most people won't do that. Most people in general will go to see a show once. So for them, the comedies are awesome, because they don't need depth, they just need laughs."
A little something for a Monday morning.