In drama class we have been learning about comedy and I had to make a timeline/blog post about its history.
Comedy is and has been a big part in our daily lives and history. Because it has been such a great part of our history, it has originated very early and developed greatly to become even better and more famous.
Comedy all stared in ancient Greece about the 6th century before the year 0. Then there was only a very narrow amount of various styles and genres of comedy. One of the first comic artists was called Aristophanes, his work and style of comedy included things like saying things about politicians, philosophers and other (comic) artists. Furthermore, comedy was not only expressed and showed by live characters, but sometimes also it was also showed on objects such as pottery, on there there were drawings of people dressed like horses and dancers in excessive costumes. Furthermore comedy by Archilochus and (6th century before year 0) and Hipponax used poems about comedy which included alot of crude and sexual humour. Finally, there was also comedy in songs which were created by a man called Aristotle which were mostly played during festivals.
In the middle ages comedy was kept t0 a minimum because of the church at that time, but comedy was still a major event at festivals and folk plays. In places like Italy and their style commedia dell’arte used a lot of silly expressions In their folk plays which was like in other countries one of the biggest sources of comedy at that time. Furthermore, comedy was kept on going by court jesters which were the clowns at that time. They were the clowns which entertained the King or other royal family member. They did their work in many different such as at dinner of if someone was sick so the clowns could make them feel better because of all the comedy used in the act.
The Renaissance had a different kind of comedy than we know today, for example, one of the main parts of a play was that made it comic was that there was a happy ending. One of the greatest playwrights of all time called Shakespeare lived during the Renaissance and has created many plays such as Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar which are still often-performed plays. A few elements of comedy that he used in his plays was Irony and embarrassment of the characters. This were the elements that he used in most of the plays he wrote.
Also in Italy comedy was a great part of all the plays and entertainment, Commedia dell Arte was still a big part of comedy. The main things that were included in this style of comedy were love intrigues and mystery like tricks of getting things of other people such as their money. Furthermore, a part of Commedia dell Arte included aerobics or Juggling; masks were often often used in this period of time and this style of comedy
Melodrama is a kind of comedy that was originated in the 18th century and is still used nowdays, It is used in pieces such as plays, on television and many times in movies. In melodrama characters are very extragged and stereotyped, this gives a very strong but simple character. In the 18th and the 19th century the actions in melodrama were usually accompanied by an orchestra or a song to make it more interesting to see and watch.
Clowns have originated a very long time ago and have evolved and developed over a long period of time. The clowns already existed for thousands of years like with the greeks where they were no more than sometimes bald people who imitated serious people and did mime. Also during the time of the romans clowns were characters with a pointy hat, had robes and were robes and were targeted for tricks and abuse, they also did mime. Nowdays, we have 4 main types of clowns: the whiteface clown, the Auguste clown, the tramp/hobo clown and the character clown. The whiteface clown is a clown that is sometimes pleasant looking, also in situations with other clowns the whiteface clown is the leader and is the one that bosses the others around. Furthermore, the whiteface clown’ face is completely covered in white except for some facial features such as the eyebrows, nose and mouth. The Auguste clown is probably one of the most active clowns of all the clowns, they are mostly the troublemakers of the clowns and use a lot of slapstick and perform a lot of big pranks on others. The Auguste clown face makeup exists out of variation of the colours red and and pink. Exaggerated parts of the face are mostly colored using the colours red and black. The tramp or hobo clown is the sad clown who does the stupid jobs such as cleaning after the others make a mess. The tramp or hobo clown often wears dark and ripped clothes to create a strong unhappy mood. Finally, the character clown can be anything so the creator of the character can be very creative to clearly show the character of the clown. The make-up of the character clown can be anything from the previous clowns.
One major part of the cinematic comedy were silent movies such as by Charlie Chaplin and were one of the very first film types/genres. Most Silent movies didn’t have any sound in the movie itself, but a whole orchestra accompanied the movie to support the effect of the movie itself on the viewer. Most silent movies were drama, epic, romance and comedy (mostly slapstick). Most of the Silent movies included slapstick, this included things like practical jokes, accidents, stunts and chase scenes with cars and trains. Charlie Chaplin was a very famous silent movie actor who was one of the best at his time. He created many silent movies such as ‘the gold rush’ and ‘Chaplin’ which are still viewed and enjoyed by many people around the globe.
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