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What is Black Comedy?
Transcript of What is Black Comedy?
(a.k.a Dark Humour)
What is Comedy?
Is any performance that is intended to be
and make their audience
The humour is created through elements such as: surprise,
, conflict, repetitiveness.
These performances are typically
where all conflicts are solved.
Its purpose is to provide
that makes us happy.
It also makes us aware of our own
or the flaws of characters that existed within the performance.
Hence, it provides a
as we are able to laugh at our own shortcomings.
Remember, this is subjective so not everyone has the same sense of humour!
What is Black Comedy?
It is a sub-genre of Comedy that uses
and often taboo/tragic subject matter such as: death, murder, disease etc.
It uses humour to trivialize and explore the
elements of human nature
Its purpose is to make the audience experience both
at the same time
Its purpose enables it to be used as a tool to
the existence of
What is the Difference?
is typically lighthearted and happy!
makes tragic and taboo subjects humorous!
Which one is the Black Comedy?
What are the elements of Black Comedy?
These elements are:
and skepticism towards the human condition.
(e.g. a death in the family) are treated in a
fashion via an inappropriate or contradictory delivery.
also react to negative situations in
ways, contradicting the audience's expectations of normal behavior.
must be of a
, taboo or controversial nature.
treatment of the tragic/taboo subject matter.
of established character archetypes.
to make light of serious subject matter.
What are Some Examples?
'A Modest Proposal' 'Shaun of the Dead'
by Jonathan Swift by Edgar Wright
poverty/death - death
- eating/selling babies - apocalypse
In Television: In Film:
'Arrested Development' 'Raising Arizona'
by Mitchell Hurwitz By Joel and Ethan Coen
- Mental illness - Kidnapping
- Incest - Robbery
- parental abuse - Prison life and escape
Texts to Study in this Unit
The Lieutenant of Inishmore
by Martin McDonagh
relies on incongruity and absurd situations to explore dark subjects such as: violence, torture, murder and drugs in a humorous manner.
Its purpose is to confront the audience about their perceptions of these issues.
The Homecoming by Harold Pinter
explores themes of emotional blackmail, manipulation, seduction and jealously all delivered in a bizarre deadpan acting style.
its purpose is to expose issues of sex and power in a realistic but stylized manner.