Comedy: A Critical Introduction
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.