Show Summary Details

p. 61. In the beginning …locked

  • Matthew Bevis

Abstract

‘In the beginning…’ examines the likely origins of comedy and asks: when was it born? The etymological roots of the word hint at obscure origins. Comedy can offer us reassurance. In Ancient Greece comic riot is predicted on ritual. Its distinguishing features include: outrageous mockery as a form of life-affirming purification; rebirths from death and the resurrection of new year from old; and licensed displays of indecency as a token of procreative energies. A consideration of beginnings can be developed by thinking about where as well as when comedy starts.

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.