How Much of a Comedy Expert Are You?

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By jwblackwell



9 Questions

What is the origin of the term 'comedy'?

Which of the following is NOT a subgenre of comedy?

What is the purpose of satire in comedy?

What is the difference between screwball comedy and black comedy?

Which philosopher believed that comedy is a destruction to the self?

What is surreal humor?

What is stand-up comedy?

What is the purpose of the 'comic frame' in rhetoric according to Kenneth Burke?

What is the role of comedy in ancient Greek theaters?


Comedy: A Genre of Humorous Dramatic Works

  • Comedy is a genre of fiction that aims to induce laughter or amusement in various entertainment mediums.
  • The term originated in ancient Greece, where comic poets performed political satire in theaters to influence public opinion.
  • Greek comedy involves a dramatic performance pitting two groups against each other in an amusing conflict, with a youth struggling against societal conventions.
  • Satire and political satire use comedy to portray people or social institutions as ridiculous or corrupt.
  • Other forms of comedy include screwball comedy, black comedy, scatological humor, sexual humor, race humor, comedy of manners, and romantic comedy.
  • The word "comedy" is derived from the Classical Greek κωμῳδία kōmōidía, meaning "revel" and "singing."
  • Aristotle defined comedy as an imitation of men worse than the average, while Plato believed it is a destruction to the self.
  • Shakespearean comedy has a happy ending, usually involving marriages between unmarried characters and a light-hearted tone.
  • Surreal humour is a form of humour based on deliberate violations of causal reasoning, producing illogical events and behaviours that are absurd or nonsensical.
  • The advent of cinema, radio, and television broadened the access of comedians to the general public.
  • American television has been an influential force in world comedy, with American and British series achieving large followings around the world.
  • In ancient Sanskrit drama, humour was defined as one of the nine nava rasas, or principle rasas, associated with mirth.Summary:

Laughter can be a cure for being sick. Studies show that people who laugh more often get sick less. American literary theorist Kenneth Burke writes that the "comic frame" in rhetoric is "neither wholly euphemistic, nor wholly debunking—hence it provides the charitable attitude towards people that is required for purposes of persuasion and co-operation, but at the same time maintains our shrewdness concerning the simplicities of 'cashing in.'" Comedy may be divided into multiple genres based on the source of humor, the method of delivery, and the context in which it is delivered. Some of the subgenres of comedy are farce, comedy of manners, burlesque, and satire. Stand-up comedy is a mode of comic performance in which the performer addresses the audience directly, usually speaking in their own person rather than as a dramatic character.


How well do you know the genre of comedy? Take this quiz to test your knowledge on the history, subgenres, and famous works of comedy. From ancient Greek theatre to modern stand-up comedy, this quiz covers it all. Can you differentiate between a screwball comedy and a black comedy? Do you know the definition of satire and its use in comedy? Find out by taking this quiz and see if you're a true comedy aficionado.

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