Activity: Talks and presentations › Talks and presentations in private or public companies
To be and Not to Be: reflections on the comic character What makes a person funny? Why do we laugh while hearing a joke, watching a comedy (on screen, on stage or simply by reading it)? I will look at the cognitive faculty of the human species, and following recent psychological and linguistic research I argue that the current theories of incongruity may not only explain how jokes are created and understood, but also explain why we laugh at comic worlds and characters. However, since laughter and humour has had a hard time among different authorial environments the last couple of millennia, I believe that the emotion elicited by engaging in non-serious incongruity is discernable in nearly all humourous art: Be it joking, pictorial or every day conversional humour. Through examples ranging from Aristophanes to Monty Python I will show how this emotion is not only the basis of much humour in Old Comedy, new Comedy and beyond, but also that this emotion is fundamentally popular comedy: Without it, there would not be anything to laugh at.