In summary, Northrop Frye attempts to tease out the “philosophical spokesman” of four forms of comedy. (Frye, 73) In this process he identifies the varied forms of the Oedipus situation and the space in which comedy can unravel uninhibited by reality, the green world. The green world is derived from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream, specifically the Faerie Queene’s forest Realm. The forest acts in contrast as the green world to the red and white world of history, by the end the two worlds are joined through marriage. Each world is qualitatively differentiated by color or metal which is derived from the original source material to denotes a specific characteristic the category defines. The Green world has a maternal nature with regard to comedy and functions as the womb within which comedy grows and from which it will then birth the comic victory, marriage. The idea of the green world as a physical space limits the theory as it can be applied, in a modern world, to the digital space. In You’ve Got Mail (Nora Ephron, USA, 1998) Kathleen and Joe are two thirty-year-old West Siders who meet in a chat room and have been mailing each other inconsequential nothings that are comic both in the digital space and when brought into the real world. Questions from the characters denote the online space as having different parameters to the physical, Kathleen asks if it is infidelity when you are involved with someone online. Such instances as well as the continued dramatic irony of their relationship add to the digital world as being equal or a synthesis of the green world. All of which, the inevitable dramatic reveal and the victory of marriage, convene in the clip above set against the backdrop of a physical green world, the park, lush and green from spring time.
Northrop Frye, “The Argument of Comedy,” English Institute Essays (New York: Columbia, 1949), 58-73.