Streaming Video - 2007
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Comedy is the complement of tragedy, and tragedy is one of the oldest forms of ritual in the Western world. However, while tragedy is linked to the sacred, comedy is often linked to the profane and sometimes even the sacrilegious. This program explores comedy, from Aristophanes and Cicero to the Christian ban on humor. The Feast of Fools and Carnival as Christian institutions that celebrate the profane are examined, along with the role of the Fool in the Renaissance court. The work of Rabelais as a Reformation-era text examines satire as a form of social critique and political tool that verges on the blasphemous. Literary figures such as Moliere and more recent icons, such as Charlie Chaplin, are discussed, along with societies like Japan that suppress laughter and consider it subversive.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Films Media Group, [2007], c1998


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