What does comedy mean? In Plato's Philebus, Socrates speaks of comedy ‘not only on the stage, but on the greater stage of human life; and so in endless other cases’. This isn't very helpful as a solid definition of humour. Saul Steinberg stated: ‘trying to define humour is one of the definitions of humour’. Therefore we can conclude that comedy can mean many things. ‘Curtain raiser’ looks in detail at the definition of comedy and introduces the organization of the book which follows.