Show Summary Details

p. 696. No laughing matterlocked

  • Poole Adrian


What is the connection between comedy and tragedy? Why do we find tragedy in the arts comic? If the brute matter of tragedy consists of pain, grief, death, and bereavement, laughter brings forward tough questions about the distance from which we view it. From the safety of afar, human antics may appear to be hilarious and we find ourselves laughing ‘down’, in derision. ‘No laughing matter’ raises the question of comedy in tragedy, especially the role of scornful laughter, both for characters within the fiction and for audiences and readers outside it. Can anything be turned to laughter? The despair of others can appear comic.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.