The Comedic Value of the Play, Pseudolus

724 Words Feb 1st, 2018 3 Pages
According to Bergson’s theory of laughter, ‘ The ingredients of comic character are rigidity, automatism, absentmindedness, and unsociability.’ ( 1956:156) All of these are apparent early in the play with the entrance of each of the characters. Pseudolus is the essence of the clownish buffoon, with his bulging stomach and overly large feet, yet he is also much wittier than Calidorus. The comic influence is attributed to Pseudolus who can manipulate those around him, as a practiced trickster using his cleverness, nonchalantly dominating the leaders. He does not use his intelligence and abilities to favor himself, all that he does, he does for the benefit of others, although often the plans he introduces profit himself at the same time. Calidorus is the pretty rich boy that has no thought other than what he desires next. His only concern is freeing his love. He is rich, but has no power. Calidorus is pleasant and his moaning adds a lot of comedy to the play, but he is not a dominant character, never a driving force behind the action. His vanity is the essence of Bergson’s mechanized comic character, who is usually comic in proportion to his ignorance of his own faults. (Bergson 1956:171-173,71) Simo, Callipho, and Ballio each are extremely satirical and are seen as caricatures of common stereotypes; the wealthy powerful misers, the powerful distasteful pimp. The powerful may be rich, but those that are rich are…
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