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By Theresa Hamilton

All of us have the capacity to realize and create humour, yet how precisely can we do it? Salvatore Attardo and Victor Raskin have tried to give an explanation for the workings of humour with their normal idea of Verbal Humor (1991). The critical objective of Hamilton's learn is to check the usefulness of the overall conception of Verbal Humor on a particular corpus via deciding on and analyzing the narrative constructions that create humour. How good can this concept clarify the best way humour 'works' in a specific story, and will it offer us with attention-grabbing, novel interpretations? The genres used to check the overall concept of Verbal Humor are the fabliau, the parody and the tragedy. This corpus represents other kinds and levels of humour and therefore demanding situations the speculation on a variety of degrees. Hamilton proposes a supplementation of the overall thought of Verbal Humor that allows you to create an efficient technique of project what she calls a 'humorist reading'. through posing the questions 'why is that this humorous?', 'how is it humorous?' or 'why is it no longer humorous?' and delivering the theoretical instruments to reply to them, a 'humorist interpreting' could make a worthwhile contribution to realizing any given literary textual content and its position in society.

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Humorous Structures of English Narratives, 1200-1600

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Example text

My chapter on Humour Theories up to the Middle Ages. 41 Kant (1977, 274): “täuschen”. 42 However, Kant (2007, 133) explicitly rejects the feeling of superiority as the prime cause of humour: “At this story we laugh […] not because we deem ourselves cleverer than this ignorant man, […] but because our expectation was strained (for a time) and then was suddenly dissipated into nothing”. 43 Schopenhauer (1977, 96): “Das Lachen entsteht jedesmal aus nichts Anderm, als aus der plötzlich wahrgenommenen Inkongruenz zwischen einem Begriff und den realen Objekten, die durch ihn, in irgend einer Beziehung, gedacht worden waren, und es ist selbst eben nur der Ausdruck dieser Inkongruenz“.

A second major, and sometimes conflicting, influence for medieval authors was, of course, the Christian religion which shall be subject of discussion in this chapter, as well. 1 I will concentrate mainly on the evolution of humour theories and not on their practice in, for example, the Latin and Greek comedies, jestbooks or other comic genres of antiquity. In the process, I will summarize and discuss the most prominent studies of humour made by the main thinkers in Greek and Roman antiquity: Plato, Aristotle and the author of Tractatus Coislinianus, as well as Cicero, Horace and Quintilian.

It is easy to laugh when John in the “Miller’s Tale” falls down the house in his ‘boat’; however, the audience would have been less likely to laugh at the same event had the text reported any resulting injuries or even his death. Aristotle also discusses how a comic effect can be created. He states, for example, that incongruity in style is comic: Your language will be appropriate if it expresses emotion and character, and if it corresponds to its subject. ‘Correspondence to subject’ means that we must neither speak casually about weighty matters, nor solemnly about trivial ones; nor must we add ornamental epithets to commonplace nouns, or the effect will be comic.

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