Just something to think about:
This aspect of life, as continually changing and presenting fresh opportunities for happiness and laughter, poetic comedy idealizes and presents to us by means of fantasy. Fantasy is the natural instrument of comedy. . . .
Helen Gardner, “As You Like It,” in More Talking of Shakespeare, ed. John Garrett (London: Longmans, Green & Co, 1959), quoted in Shakespeare: The Comedies, ed. Kenneth Muir (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1965), 62.
See also Kenneth J. Semon’s “Shakespeare’s Tempest: Beyond Common Joy,” ELH 40, no. 1 (Spring 1973): 24-43.