Farce  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

"Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce." --"The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon" (1852) by Karl Marx

This page Farce is part of the laughter series.Illustration: Mona Lisa Smoking a Pipe by Eugène Bataille
Enlarge
This page Farce is part of the laughter series.
Illustration: Mona Lisa Smoking a Pipe by Eugène Bataille

Related e

Google
Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Wiki Commons
Wikisource
YouTube
Shop


Featured:
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Enlarge
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A farce is a comedy written for the stage or film which aims to entertain the audience by means of unlikely, extravagant, and improbable situations, disguise and mistaken identity, verbal humour of varying degrees of sophistication, which may include sexual innuendo and word play, and a fast-paced plot whose speed usually increases, culminating in an ending which often involves an elaborate chase scene. Farce is also characterized by physical humour, the use of deliberate absurdity or nonsense, and broadly stylized performances.

Many farces move at a frantic pace toward the climax, in which the initial problem is resolved one way or another, often through a deus ex machina twist of the plot. Generally, there is a happy ending. The convention of poetic justice is not always observed: The protagonist may get away with what he or she has been trying to hide at all costs, even if it is a criminal act involving crazy costumes.

Farce in general is highly tolerant of transgressive behavior, and tends to depict human beings as vain, irrational, venal, infantile, and prone to automatic behavior. In that respect, farce is a natural companion of satire. Farce is, in fact, not merely a genre but a highly flexible dramatic mode that often occurs in combination with other forms, including romantic comedy. Farce is considered a theatre tradition.

As far as ridiculous, far-fetched situations, quick and witty repartee, and broad physical humor are concerned, farce is widely employed in TV sitcoms, in silent film comedy, and in screwball comedy. See also bedroom farce.

Japan has a centuries-old tradition of farce plays called Kyogen. These plays are performed as comic relief during the long, serious Noh plays.

Contents

Representative examples: A chronology

Classical antiquity

Britain

France

Germany

Italy

Poland

Russia

Spain

United States

US Television

Canada

Animated

See also

bedroom farce




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Farce" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools