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History of Comedy - Essay Example

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Some say appreciation for comedic effect is really what separates us from animals. Here, we compare the modern descendents of both old and new comedy. We review what makes each genre unique, provide two modern examples for each genre (total of 4 modern examples), and describe how each is related to the ancient genre.
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History of Comedy
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Ancient, Old, New, and Modern Comedy Some say appreciation for comedic effect is really what separates us from animals. Here, we compare the modern descendents of both old and new comedy. We review what makes each genre unique, provide two modern examples for each genre (total of 4 modern examples), and describe how each is related to the ancient genre.
Each genre has unique character. In early Greek theaters there was a dancing space or orchestra between the stage and the audience. Old Comedy, roughly in the first half of the 4th century BC, spreading out from Athens throughout the Greek world (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/amahoney/ancient_comedy.html). Old Comedy, like Greek tragedy, has a singing, dancing chorus who are characters in the play.
New Comedy, from the middle of the 4th century BC, all over the Mediterranean (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/amahoney/ancient_comedy.html). Greek drama from c. 320 BC to the mid-3rd century BC that offers a mildly satiric view of contemporary Athenian society (http://www.answers.com/library/Britannica+Concise+Encyclopedia-cid-10234587).
Many extant examples are representative of these methods. Old Comedy was the mighty genius of Aristophanes grafted in Pantagruelism has influenced Cervantes, Swift, Voltaire and others (Bates 1906). Though the word Pantagruelism is means the characters are sustained by court fool. He exploited both of the spirit and mechanical appliances of old Greek comedy. He adopted the disguise of buffoonery to attack some prevailing hypocrisy. This is what Aristophanes did to master the chief characteristics of his prototype. In Old Comedy, the chorus becomes more separate, and often sings entr'actes that have nothing to do with the play; later, the chorus is dropped altogether. During New Comedy, the chorus and representative of forces reduced to a small band of musicians and dancers. Plays usually involve the conventional situations of thwarted love and stock characters (http://www.answers.com/library/Britannica+Concise+Encyclopedia-cid-10234587).
Nevertheless, each is related to the Ancient Comedy. Ancient comedy is said to have occurred in Athens during the late 5th century BCE (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/amahoney/ancient_comedy.html). During Old Comedy, the comic drama rose Athens barrowing from tragedy many beautiful features including choral dances, masked actors, scenery, stage mechanisms and language. The audience required from lyric poeticism from the dramatist (Bates 1906). Unlike the parodies of Old Comedy, New Comedy features fictional average citizens in domestic life (http://www.answers.com/library/Britannica+Concise+Encyclopedia-cid-10234587).
These styles have influenced modern comedy in obvious ways. Here, we compare the modern descendents of both old and new comedy. We review what makes each genre unique, provide two modern examples for each genre (total of 4 modern examples), and describe how each is related to the ancient genre. Some say appreciation for comedic effect is really what separates us from animals. Tell that to a hyena.
References
http://www.answers.com/library/Britannica+Concise+Encyclopedia-cid-10234587
The Drama: Its History, Literature and Influence on Civilization, Vol. 1. Ed. Alfred Bates. London: Historical Publishing Company, 1906. pp. 28-29.
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/amahoney/ancient_comedy.html Read More
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