of these articles concerns itself with the literary kind of the comedy. For information to the film category see film comedy.

A comedy (= comedy) (v. griech.: komodia = song of the common ones; Singing with a merry removal) is a drama alsoerheiterndem course of action, which ends usually lucky. The unterhaltsame basic tendency results thereby from the exaggerated representation of human weaknesses, which can aim at apart from amusing the public also criticism.

The spectators feel to the figures on the stagehowever either moved, because they can recognize each other in them again and identify themselves with them easily, or they look on them down and laugh them, because they are felt as a sign of weakness, which applies to avoid it. Varies, one speaks this feeling of a Tragikomödie.

Table of contents

history of the comedy

to comedy in Greece and Rome

the today's comedy based on the antique Greek comedy. The Greek word “Komodia” becomes often of “komos”, the traditional removal of the drunk participants oneSymposions, thus a traditional noble Trinkgelages, derived. However the word could have developed also from the term “kome” (village), which would point on an emergence of the comedy from village celebrations.

Regular premieres of comedies took place particularly in Athens,in the context of the Dionysosfeste. With the attischen comedy three phases or epochs are differentiated: the “old person comedy”, whose most well-known author is Aristophanes, the “middle comedy”, from only the author names, but no plays remained received, and the “new comedy”,as their most important representative Menander is considered. Characteristically of the “old person comedy” is connected an often corroding criticism at social and political conditions, with attacks against living persons, as well as a usually only loosely added action, while the “new comedy” more ofthe Komik of the represented action lives. The attischen comedies, particularly of Menander and its contemporaries, became in the 3. Century v. Chr. also in Rome admits and likes.

Plautus was probably most productive latin a comedy author. As newest research suggests seizesit already usually on Greek collecting mains back. Its on public success oriented pieces were also with the simple people like; it cultivated itself the type of the cunning small man, that against the authorities with nut/mother joke interspersed and to the model for many figureslike Falstaff, Scapin, which Truffaldino of the COMM dia. dell'arte became. Another famous Roman author was Terentius (Terenz), which cultivated the polishedness of the language in the comedy.

The topics of the Roman comedy were unpolitical, the action with their charactersvisiblly. The authors began themselves to argue with new forms and new contents. Thus for example a mixer, the Epyllion is with Mimos: it used as form the hexadecimalmetric verse measure, contents has however nothing heroisches and fits thusnot to the verse measure. In this form also Theokrit wrote, e.g. in a piece over Hirten, who converse during the sheep guarding in hexadecimalmetric verse measure.

Also Comic - figures such as Asterix stand in this tradition.

16. Century to 18. Century

comedies were over long time with moving theatres at home. Starting from that 16. Century began the mechanism of firm houses, which were continued to tape however usually by moving Theatertruppen in Europe.

In Italy developed the COMM dia. dell'Arte as people nearTheatre form, which radiated also to central and Western Europe.

The comedy as theatre form took in 16. , 17. and 18. Century new upswing. Authors such as William Shakespeare, Molière in France, Carlo Goldoni in Italy as well as Gotthold Ephraim Lessing in Germany are here to call.

A revival of the people play and of elements from the COMM dia. dell'Arte took place in Italy via Dario Fo.

types of the comedy

  • Untertypen
    • Burleske
    • farce
    • vary:usually in rural environment
    • Posse
    • Klamotte

Kraft vs. Weakens

dramatic figures tune one for identification either by its will strength (Draufgänger), understanding strength (thousand-ASP) or moral Kraft (knights) - turned around amusing figures, with which one itself notidentified because of their will weakens (Hampelmann), understanding weakens (Stümper) or moral weakness (Tunichtgut).

Schelm vs. Fool

of the Schelm or Schalk is in this connection “non-amusing” hero of a comedy, which its adversary fool makes. ThatSchelm is someone, with which one identifies oneself, since he has strength of intellect to laugh (joke) it can comedies without Schelme, not however without fools gives (otherwise gäb's nothing).

The German translation of the word “Komodia” with comedy dipped for the first time intoTitle of an anonymous piece 16. Century up and became then in 17. Jh. by Andreas Gryphius taken up and since that 18. Jh. synonymously for comedy uses. Since that 20. Jh. calls one often above all Konversationsstücke comedies.


  • Aristophanes/Meander: Greek comedies. hrsg. v. Eberhard Reschenberg, Leipzig 1966.
  • Bernhard Greiner: The comedy. Tübingen 1992.
  • The German comedy. From the Middle Ages to the present. Hrsg. of walter Hinck. Duesseldorf 1977. (Single interpretations)

see also

Wikiquote: Comedy - quotations

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