Show Summary Details

p. 1Curtain raiserlocked

  • Matthew Bevis


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.

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.