Comedy and Tragedy According to Aristotle

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Comedy and Tragedy | | Comedy According to Aristotle (who speculates on the matter in his Poetics), ancient comedy originated with the komos, a curious and improbable spectacle in which a company of festive males apparently sang, danced, and cavorted rollickingly around the image of a large phallus. (If this theory is true, by the way, it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "stand-up routine.") Accurate or not, the linking of the origins of comedy to some sort of phallic ritual or festival of mirth seems both plausible and appropriate, since for most of its history--from Aristophanes to Seinfeld--comedy has involved a high-spirited celebration of human sexuality and the triumph of eros. As a rule, tragedies occur…show more content…
Elaborate comic intrigues involving deception, disguise, and mistaken identity are the rule. Examples of the genre include Shakespeare 's Comedy of Errors, the "Pink Panther" movies, and the films of the Marx Brothers and Three Stooges. * Romantic Comedy. Perhaps the most popular of all comic forms--both on stage and on screen--is the romantic comedy. In this genre the primary distinguishing feature is a love plot in which two sympathetic and well-matched lovers are united or reconciled. In a typical romantic comedy the two lovers tend to be young, likeable, and apparently meant for each other, yet they are kept apart by some complicating circumstance (e.g., class differences, parental interference; a previous girlfriend or boyfriend) until, surmounting all obstacles, they are finally wed. A wedding-bells, fairy-tale-style happy ending is practically mandatory. Examples: Much Ado about Nothing, Walt Disney 's Cinderella, Guys and Dolls, Sleepless in Seattle. * Satirical Comedy. The subject of satire is human vice and folly. Its characters include con-artists, criminals, tricksters, deceivers, wheeler-dealers, two-timers, hypocrites, and fortune-seekers and the gullible dupes, knaves, goofs, and cuckolds who serve as their all-too-willing victims. Satirical comedies resemble other types of comedy in that they trace the rising fortune of a central character. However, in this case, the central character (like virtually everybody

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