There is a striking divide, in the literature on comedy, between approaches that stress the social functions of humor, including social control and alleviation of social stresses, and approaches that focus on the psychological mechanisms of humor, including incongruity and arousal. These two kinds of approach have proven quite resistant to integration, because they are rooted in fundamentally different understandings of the pleasure of humor. Put simply, the pleasure of the put-down is hard to square with the pleasure of the pun. This article examines new scientific research on humor, including recent brain imaging studies, to see if there is any evidence for an empirical divide. The conclusion, in practical analytical terms, is that when, near the start of Shaun of the Dead (2004), Shaun fails to notice that he is surrounded by zombies, our perception of the inappropriateness of the character's actions and our perception of the playfulness of the depiction are both necessarily involved in our perception of the scene's funniness.
views over two millennia ago. Ecclesiastes 8:15–17 15 So I commended mirth, that a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry, and that this should accompany him in his labour all the days of his life which God
her will and assistance comes too late: they find her drowned in the river Trent. This is, however, only the end of the fourth act. The last act concludes the play in an atmosphere of mirth. Elizabeth I herself comes to Nottingham. The members of the
realization that “it was always [women]… who had the power, the power to give life, the power to keep it” (94). In Highway’s play, female laughter is a sign of empowerment, and the power of motherhood is ultimately reinforced with the triumphant mirth of Hera
The Second World War According to Achtung Zelig! (2004)
personhood itself as an unremitting succession of activities’. 23 Furthermore, the comic element accompanying zaniness, in keeping with its intense performativity, is somewhat ambiguous, geared for the hollow laugh rather than actual mirth. Émile embodies
indeterminacy, instability, and disorder. More specifically, Banquo’s spectral entrance, visible only to Macbeth, upsets Macbeth to such an extent that the event is disrupted. As Lady Macbeth tells her husband: ‘You have displaced the mirth, broke the good
Where Is Constancy?
William A. Quinn
his first edition’s sequence, promising to publish: the conditions and the array of each of them as properly as possible is to be said. and after their tales which be of nobleness, wisdom, gentleness, mirth and also of very holiness and virtue
suggest is indeed ‘wariness’ is apparent. Of course, English has a variety of alternative words to ‘happy’. ‘Merry’ – ‘of a thing pleasing, agreeable, delightful’ – is of Germanic origin and is related to the idea of ‘mirth’, although the word is most
Police Power and Popular Culture in Colonial Algerian Theater
the seemingly innocuous evocations of Algerian history, contemporary society, and Islamic cultural norms. Maheddine's troupe brought harmless words on a page to life with mirth and satire, undercutting the French regime even as they sought to avoid its
A Life in Pictures
years ago, in days when much of my time was passed in a Country House, where children and mirth abounded, the lines beginning, ‘There was an old man of Tobago’, were suggested to me by a valued friend, as a form of verse lending itself to limitless