What is comedy?
Comedy (from the Greek komodia) is a literary, theatrical and cinematographic genre.
Despite appearances, a comedy does not have to be systematically funny, even though most comedies are. The tearful comedy, for example, is not funny but works as a comedy, especially through the characteristic classical happy ending. Nowadays, the term has fallen out as contemporary plays can be quite humorous and have an unhappy ending.
Additionally and beyond the fun and entertainment that bring a lot of comedies, this type of work can also have a critical aspect.
The comedy has its roots in Greek literature. The Greek word ko-mo-idia comes from the words komos "party in honor of Dionysus" and oide," song ". As for tragedy, classic comedy had to obey the rule of three units. However, comedy is seeking to desecrate sad or unpleasant situations, unlike the tragedy which amplifies them.
Comedy portrays characters who belong to the middle class of society like Bourvil or Coluche. Depending on historical times and cultures, comedy has mostly portrayed slaves, servants, merchants, burghers whose adventures have a happy ending. Rarely noble men who are characters reserved for tragedy.
Today, comedy is best known through more or less humorous films. The comedy makes the viewer reflect on the functioning of society, offering a moral reflection and teaching him to better know himself. Who said that comedy is a mirror of the world?
In the seventeenth century, Moliere invented three new types of theater: (1) the low comedy based on the comic gesture (The Scapin), (2) the comedy based on the comic gesture, situation and character (The Miser or the School of lies) and (3) the high comedy based on the comic gesture, situation, character, word and manners (The Doctor despite himself).
There is also Ancient Greek comedy, Comedy of manners based on the comic satire of contemporary manners, traits of society, Comedy character (a play in which are described in pleasant manners, faults and follies of human beings), Romantic comedy, Heroic comedy, the commedia dell'arte (the Italian theater of the seventeenth century with a small scenario, a large improvisational comedians and a set of masks), Comedy-ballet, Light comedy, Vaudeville (a kind of light comedy of the seventeenth century which came back into fashion during the Restoration and triumph under the Third Republic, staging inextricable situations in intrigue with multiple twists entanglements and misunderstandings in series, merging into a pace that gives pride to the burlesque and the eccentricity, and the musical comedy.
In the nineteenth century appears boulevard theater, in the twentieth theater of the absurd (Eugene Ionesco, Samuel Beckett) and rewriting ancient (the aim being to demolish the myths by taking the same heroes, the same themes and degrade, may move registry to register tragic comedy).
The highest movie box office in French is a comedy: Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis. Here again it is based on the story of a regular guy and the humor comes from the situations he faces.