Document Actions

Jen Golding

Humour in Earnest in Renaissance Comedy.

This research examines Renaissance comedies to investigate four key questions: how is humour used in Renaissance comedies (1576-1642) to explore serious social issues, specifically, aspects of power, wealth and status; which facets of these broad issues are humorously treated frequently and significantly;  how, that is by what techniques, is the humour  constructed; and, to what effect is the humour employed? The primary method used will be textual analysis of the play texts.  The context is the importance of social, moral, and political critique in drama written in a society confronting the many conflicts and changes created by the emergence of capitalism. The representation of characters tussling with such tensions was fertile ground for both drama and  humour, as well as for provoking thought. The manifold ways in which humour exploited these opportunities will be analysed. (Image: Hogarth, the Laughing Audience.)

Supervisor: Dr Gill Woods