Comedies are plays which are designed to be humorous. Comedies are often filled with witty remarks, unusual characters, and strange circumstances. Certain comedies are geared toward different age groups. Comedies were one of the two original play types of Ancient Greece, along with tragedies. An example of a comedy would be William Shakespeare's play "A Midsummer Night Dream," or for a more modern example the skits from "Saturday Night Live".
A generally nonsensical genre of play, farces are often overacted and often involve slapstick humour. An example of a farce includes William Shakespeare's play "The Comedy of Errors," or Mark Twain's play "Is He Dead?"
These plays contain darker themes such as death and disaster. Often the protagonist of the play has a tragic flaw, a trait which leads to their downfall. Tragic plays convey all emotions, and have extremely dramatic conflicts. Tragedy was one of the two original play types of Ancient Greece. Some examples of tragedies include William Shakespeare's Hamlet, and also John Webster's play The Duchess of Malfi.
The term "play" can be either a general term, or more specifically refer to a non-musical play. Sometimes the term "straight play" is used in contrast to "musical", which refers to a play based on music, dance, and songs sung by the play's characters. For a short play, the term "playlet" is sometimes used.