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Comedy and Farce

By Phoenix87 Oct 07, 2008 554 Words
From the theatrical pieces of Shakespeare to the comical adventures of the Marx Brothers, and even the humorous plots of today’s sitcoms, farce has been used throughout the ages to entertain and provide comedy for its audience. Whether being used a kind of comic relief in serious and grave plots or the main style for a whole theatrical piece, the significance of farce in the arts is undeniable. Although farce is sometimes considered low-brow comedy, many revered artist use elements of farce multiple times in there literature or theatrical piece. Artist who use farce are people such as Shakespeare in the The Comedy of Errors or Oscar Wilde in the The Importance of Being Earnest. The definition of “farce” is a comedy style written for multi- levels of entertainment (i.e. movies, theater, and sitcoms) with a distinct manner of approaching humor. Although a farce comedy encompasses many characteristics, it usually involves a fast-paced plot, which typically contains far-fetch and extravagant situations. These situations may include the unforeseen chain reactions that of which can be commonly seen in some works of John Orton or even the episodes of the present day sitcom, Arrested Development. It also all can include funny physical humor. A show famous for this is the revered comedy of The Three Stooges, which employ physical humor, and deliberate absurdity or nonsense. . Farce also usually contains witty verbal humor with very varying degrees of complexity. These can include puns which use the “play on words effect” and distort the meaning of a word or use a like-sounding word instead; usually leading to a clever statement that has a totally different meaning. A good example of this effect can be found littered in most, if not all, of the movies made by the Marx Brothers. The Marx Brother’s comedy is deeply saturated with many humorous situations which contain verbal humor. This is usually involving the main character, a Marx brother, taking the dialog of a lesser character or antagonist and manipulating his/her words into a witty comment with a different meaning using those same or similar words. It can even contain sexual innuendo such as some statements in Anthony Marriotts’ No Sex,Please, We’re British. This type of verbal play that is common in farce, encompasses what literature or theatre is about, it use words and language the means of producing feeling in it audience such as laughter. This genre of rude comedy that is farce is a worthy edition to the arts. Not only does it seem to produce emotion and happiness in its audience, but it also provides them with a way to analyze basic human behaviors no matter how outrageous the plot can be. Farce usually contains characters that express certain negative human qualities such as being vain, irrational, venal, infantile and gullible. These characters can give insight to these behaviors allowing us to take a look at ourselves and stray away from these unwanted traits. Whether it be to provided a comedic break in a otherwise serious play or just to simply entertain its audience, providing them with the sometime theraputing feeling of humor, farce is a genre that has become a theater tradition and has proved itself as a valuable style of comedy that can last throughout the ages.

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