Slapstick vs. Farce

Difference Between Slapstick And Farce

A type of physical humor called slapstick is comedy characterized by rough, noisy horseplay. Slapstick has a long history. It is found in the comedies of ancient Greek and Roman playwrights. In these comedies, a master frequently used a stick to hit a servant who talked too cleverly or out of turn. Slapstick was also used in the Middle Ages, when short skits called interludes were often presented between the acts of a play. In one such skit, The Flood, Noah’s wife would lean out of a window in the Ark and hit Noah over the head with a rolling pin because of something he said. Of course, only the audience thought it was funny. Slapstick can been seen today in the pie-throwing and other antics of circus clowns and comic actors.

Slapstick action is sometimes accompanied by witty dialogue. When this happens, the play is called a farce. Farcical characters not only do absurd things but often speak absurdly as well. What often distinguishes the characters in a farce is the brilliance and speed with which they speak. This speedy dialogue, which bounces back and forth from one character to another, is called repartee.

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