Drama: Comedy Timeline

Ancient Comedy (Greek) 

Ancient Greek comedy was a very popular form of theatre performed across ancient Greece from the 6th Century BCE. Aristophanes and Menander was the most famous playwrights of the genre. The contemporaries made fun of politicians, philosophers, and fellow artists. The plays give an indirect but invaluable insight into Greek society in and provide details on legal systems, education, and more. The creative play also reveals the identity of the audience and show what the Greeks’ sense of humor was like.

Ancient Greek Comedy

Medieval Comics

The middle ages are often referred to the time after the fall of Roman Empire to the rise of the renaissance in Italy. Modern European countries began to solidify their cultural and ethnic identities during this extensive time period that saw the and fall of the Crusades, Carolingian Empire, and the Reformation. A Jester is a professional clown employed to entertain the King or nobleman during these time periods. A Jester can also be referred to as a fool, buffoon or clown. Because there are many similarities between the medieval jesters and the modern circus clown, they are often compared with each other. The medieval Jesters had the privileges which were not afforded to many other people at court. The court Jester was one of the few characters in the court who could freely speak their mind without causing offence and somebody who could humor to mock, and joke about the lord.

Court Jesters

Renaissance Comics

From 1400 AD to 1600 AD, there was a burst of innovative technology, extraordinary pieces of artwork, exploration, trading and beautiful music. During the Renaissance, comedies meant something different from what they currently mean today. Many people think of modern comedy as funny. However, comedies in the Renaissance meant a play having a happy ending. Though comedies do not have to be funny, all have the potential to be. Characters in Shakespeare’s comedies sometimes embarrass themselves during the play. Shakespearean comedies are made of many characteristics. They aided the process of rebirth of entertainment during the Renaissance. Some modern comedies are based upon Shakespeare’s brilliant plays. Even today, his plays are still very popular across the world. Shakespeare truly was a great playwright of his time and his comedies live on to tell the tale.


Melodramatic Comics

Melodrama is a type of theatre distinguished by exaggerated movements, plots and characters. The characters are usually the stereotypical portrayals of people. Mostly the characters are stock characters. These characters are stereotypical and contain: the hero, the damsel and the villain.


Circus Comics

Circus is a performance of acrobatics, comedy, and equestrian, which has existed since 18th Century. Ancient clowns did exist but not known as clowns. The word clown was not used until the 16th century. These are some of the basic types of clowns, the white face clown, the auguste and the character clown. Circus clowns tend to perform gags. As the people that watch and enjoyed circus clowns increased, more types of circus comedy and clowns were born.


Cinematic Comics

The silent period was around from 1896 to 1929. After 1900, film became a more middle-class phenomenon, as film makers exploited film’s story telling. From 1907 ~ 1913, many production companies moved from New York City to Los Angeles to take advantages of the warm weather. This made Hollywood a very famous place.

MLA Format Bibilography

Works Cited
“Ancient_Greek_Comedy.” Ancient History Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 June 2016.
“English Renaissance Theatre.” New World Encyclopedia. New World Encyclopedia, n.d. Web. 02 June 2016.
“Film History: Silent Period (1895–1929).” Spark Notes. SparkNotes LLC, n.d. Web. 02 June 2016.
“Interesting Information About The Jester.” HubPages. HubPages, 2 Mar. 2012. Web. 06 June 2016.
“Medieval Jesters.” Medieval Jesters. Medieval Jesters, n.d. Web. 2 June 2016.
“Terms & Themes.” Terms & Themes. University of Houston Clear Lake, n.d. Web. 02 June 2016.


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