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Comedy In Humanities Essay

2030 words - 9 pages

Comedy in Life

Humanities is the the academic study of human culture. When people usually hear the term humanity, they think it means what makes humans, human. How did we get here is usually the question associated with humanities. When I think about humanities I think about war, music, art, history, literature and comedy. Comedy though, isn't a topic that is closely related to humanities, since not many people associate comedy with humanities. However, the human race never would have grown quite like it had if it wasn't for the lightheartedness of comedy helping us relax and rewind day after day. What I propose in the paper is not to discuss events of the human race, but rather how ...view middle of the document...

The comic hero wasn't was we today would think him to be. Back then the comic hero was usually a rogue or fun-loving scamp, according to Simpson, that people wanted to pull for. The comic hero was always the underdog, the person that audiences wanted to root for, they didn't care for a noble hero or someone well off, they wanted to see people evolve from disadvantaged backgrounds become the hero. 600 years ago and even modern day, people always want to see the underdog in any reiteration become the “hero”.
The other type of comedic scenarios you would've watched in Ancient Greece was about everyday ordinary people. Ordinary people were the middle class since the upper/noble class of people were more closely related with tragedies. Simpson mentions that those types of comedies were always simple, whereas the comic hero would succeed in some aspect to become a hero, in a play about an ordinary person people merely wanted to see the protagonist succeed, whether it was at a test, or getting the girl they wanted (Simpson).
Now it's possible that comedy could have gone further back then just Ancient Greece, but comedy was most likely not taken seriously from it's inception, according to Aristotle so there might not have been any recordings of it. Comedy back in Ancient Greece fell into three categories, romantic comedy, satire, and farce, and laughter was kept more confined back then because depending on how someone laughed it could be taken in the wrong way. Plato, another philosopher, on the other hand was against comedy. Plato believed that comedy was self destruction, and it produced emotion that overrides self-control and learning. Plato also believed that the ideal nation was one where comedy was tightly controlled.
Comedy would continue on for centuries mirroring Aristotle's works. No real new innovation would take place until the Elizabethan era where new comedy formats would arise. Shakespearean comedy was considered a comedy with a happy ending. It more closely resembled the romantic comedies of Aristotle because the end of Shakespearean comedies were happy ending with marriages occurring between it's members. The general tone of Shakespeare's plays were lighthearted and happy. There was another form of comedy that Shakespeare created that was not unlike anything that Aristotle ever thought about. It was called Slap-stick comedy, and it is a form of comedy where Shakespeare incorporated chases and beatings into his plays. Slap-stick comedy was a perfectly incorporated into Shakespeare's plays since people wouldn't bat an eye at what occurs.
What made Shakespearean comedy amazing in the first place was Shakespeare's ability to pun. Shakespeare had a gift when it came to fiddling around with words and their meanings. Magdalena mentions that “Punning was practiced by ladies-in-waiting in three Shakespearean comedies.” (Magdalena 1) In those three plays; The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Twelfth Night, and Much Ado About Nothing are as...

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