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Revenge TragedyAeschylus to Armageddon$
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John Kerrigan

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198184515

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198184515.001.0001

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. Shakespeare and the Comic Strain

. Shakespeare and the Comic Strain

(p.193) 8. Shakespeare and the Comic Strain
Revenge Tragedy

John Kerrigan

Oxford University Press

The chapter looks at humor in violence, two contrasting concepts that have been widely used in literature. In one too many a tale the revenged is seen with an evil laugh, a chuckle, or a cold sneer at the act of violence. If one has spent too much time immersed in this particular type of literature, one may feel numb to the violence and horror, in fact he may find pleasure in it. Shakespeare provides one famous example of this particular literature style. It may appear as if one's taste is savage, even cruel, but this style also implies that the writer is able to invoke an emotion that is opposite to the theme of his work, not a small feat. A dramatic flair is one that produces humor, then silences it in death.

Keywords:   humor, violence, Shakespeare, pain, pleasure

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