The Spirituality of Comedy: Comic Heroism in a Tragic World

The Spirituality of Comedy Comic Heroism in a Tragic World To understand comedy is to under stand humanity for the comic sense is central to what it means to be human Nearly all the major issues with which human beings have exercised themselves are touched u

  • Title: The Spirituality of Comedy: Comic Heroism in a Tragic World
  • Author: M. Conrad Hyers
  • ISBN: 9781412807814
  • Page: 155
  • Format: Paperback
  • To understand comedy is to under stand humanity, for the comic sense is central to what it means to be human Nearly all the major issues with which human beings have exercised themselves are touched upon in some manner by the comic spirit Yet education in the art of comedy and in comic appreciation is given little atten tion in most societies The Spirituality of ComedyTo understand comedy is to under stand humanity, for the comic sense is central to what it means to be human Nearly all the major issues with which human beings have exercised themselves are touched upon in some manner by the comic spirit Yet education in the art of comedy and in comic appreciation is given little atten tion in most societies The Spirituality of Comedy explores the wisdom of comedy and the comic answer to tragedy in both popular and classical senses of the term Tragedy is seen as a fundamental problem of human existence, while comedy is its counterweight and resolution Conrad Hyers has taken a fresh look at comedy from the standpoint of comparative mythology and religion, and thus at comedy s spiritual significance He maintains that the ability to see the humor in things, to create comic tales and rituals, is among the most imaginative and profound of all human achievements Comedy interrupts the tragic seriousness with which we take ourselves, our values and beliefs, and introduces a different spirit and larger vision of life Comic figures, even when making an appearance in great literature and drama, debunk human great ness and grandeur and mock heroic claims In his unique study of the comic tradition, Hyers explains the difficulty in pinning down themes, structures, plots, or characters that are common to all comedy Instead he argues that there is an essence of comedy in the area of spirit rather than form, perspective rather than pattern He draws upon the rich historical ensemble of types of comic fi gures, with a chapter devoted to each the humorist, comedian, comic hero, rogue, trickster, clown, fool, underdog, and simpleton He shows how each type incarnates a comic heroism in its own unique manner, offering a profound wisdom and philosophy of life The approach of this book is broadly interdisciplinary, with materials and interpretations introduced from the various fields of the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences as they illuminate both the tragic and comic sensibilities The methodological thread that draws this all together is an analy sis of the major types of comic figures in terms of the myths and legends as sociated with them, the rituals they pro duce and enact, and the symbolism of the comic fi gures themselves Written in a very readable literary style, The Spirituality of Comedy will appeal to psychologists, social scientists, clergy, philosophers, and students of literature.
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      155 M. Conrad Hyers
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    • CJ Bowen says:

      "To understand comedy is to understand humanity." 1"What is most important is not the particular devices, techniques, characters, themes, and so on, that are employed by a comic sensibility, but that sensibility itself: its introduction to any situation, what it can add to the situation, and its ongoing preservation." 9"There is no 'essence' of comedy, if we are looking for this in some plot, theme, or character common to all." 11Humor - humus, earth. Comedy - Comus, god of fertility. 12"Getting [...]

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