Comedy: A Critical Introduction

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Sussex Academic Press, 2011 - Performing Arts - 242 pages
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While assimilating theoretical insights from Aristotle to the present day, the wholly original approach to the study of comedy contests the theory of comedy’s ritual origin; challenges the age-old and continuing attempts to determine the structure of action that characterizes comedy; and suggests instead that structures of action are shared by all genres, and that it is the specific mood that accounts for their differences. Author Eli Rozik questions the traditional semiotic view that all meaning is in the text, and suggests that, in generating comedic meaning, the spectator’s contribution and reaction is no less vital than that of the text itself. Major contributions to a general theory of comedy, and to a sound methodology for the analysis of comedies, are presented, and ample reference to comedies and pertinent analyses of such comedies, written over the course of 2,500 years of theatre recorded history, is provided to enable readers to grasp ideas in their original terminology and logic. Each presentation is accompanied by critical comments that attempt both to introduce the problems involved and suggest possible solutions.

 

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Contents

cm
2
Methodological considerations
15
Comic Laughter
29
Laughter pain and pity
42
Fictional Structure
72
Plautus The Pot of Gold
80
Menanders Old Cantanserous
91
Comedic Character
98
Kinds of comedic characters
105
Characterization and function
111
Moliéres George Dandin
117
Chaplins Modern Times
123
62
239
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About the author (2011)

Eli Rozik is professor emeritus of theatre studies at Tel Aviv University where he was twice head of the department of theater studies and the dean of the faculty. He is the author of Fictional Thinking, The Language of Theatre, Metaphoric Thinking, Generating Theatre Meaning, and The Roots of Theatre.

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