Andrew Stott's Comedy (The New Critical Idiom) PDF

By Andrew Stott

ISBN-10: 0415299330

ISBN-13: 9780415299336

What's comedy? Andrew Stott tackles this question via an research of comedian varieties, theories and strategies, tracing the ancient definitions of comedy from Aristotle to Chris Morris's Brass Eye through Wilde and Hancock. instead of trying to produce a totalising definition of 'the comic', this quantity specializes in the importance of comedian 'events' via examine of assorted theoretical methodologies, together with deconstruction, psychoanalysis and gender concept, and offers case stories of a couple of subject matters, starting from the drag act to the simplicity of slipping on a banana pores and skin.

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Sample text

Frye’s account is both convincing and symmetrically satisfying, but it brings with it two key objections. The first is the extent to which comedic structure is privileged over content, the degree that his discussion of varied and distinct plays can become a list of titles whose similarity rests on their final reconciliations. This is a shortcoming of all structuralist and narratological critical practices, and in mitigation it should be noted that Frye’s project aims to study structural similarities and not offer close readings of individual texts.

With this device, the conflicting claims of private passion and social responsibility are neatly reconciled, for the waywardness of desire proves to be illusory. The impulse that aspires to the forbidden is domesticated, gratified without danger to public convention, and thus the threat to the city-state ideal of a closed conjugal group is averted’ (Konstan, 1983:24–25). Given that these narratives tend towards the reinforcement of family ties and the maintenance of dynastic status, supporting the privilege of a racially homogenous group in an ethnically diverse empire, stereotypical characterization might be seen as a reassuring ploy that confirms a hegemonic view of the world, and appeals to the comprehensive systems of taxonomy and categorization that existed in Roman intellectual life.

Both Boccaccio (1313–75) and Chaucer (c. 1343–1400) were interested in the textures and possibilities of comedy and tragedy, yet neither was a dramatist. The clearest example of the broadening of the term in the medieval period is the title of Dante’s Divine Comedy (begun c. 1314), a poem that contains little that may be described as humorous. Structurally, however, Dante’s poem, like Greek and Roman comedy before it, moves out of ignorance to understanding and towards a happy conclusion, or in terms of its theological framework, from despair to eternal life.

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Comedy (The New Critical Idiom) by Andrew Stott


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