Meaningful Comedy in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Aristotle believes that in order for a comedic work to have meaning, the protagonist should have a rise in fortune, while a tragedy should do the opposite. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel fits both of these criteria perfectly. In 1958, Miriam “Midge” Maisel had the perfect life. She had a great husband, two beautiful kids, a spacious apartment in New York, and a high social status. However, after finding out her husband is cheating on her with his secretary, she gets extremely intoxicated and ends up finding a hidden talent for stand-up comedy. After getting discovered and working hard to hone her act, she ends up getting discovered and becomes the opening act for a famous singer. 

While this show is meaningful because it meets the terms that Arstole has set up, I believe it is special for a whole different reason. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel teaches women that there is meaning in life besides men and they can be successful without them. After telling her parents what happened, Midge is blamed for her husband’s actions and is told to go win him back because she will be nothing without him. They tell her to put on a sexy dress and makeup so she can win him back. While she was scared about her husband leaving and what everyone around her was telling her, she did not go back. Even when her husband came back to apologize to her, she did not accept it. She had faith in herself and used it to fuel her comedy.

In today’s society, there is more of a push for women to be independent. There is still some pushback from men saying that women will be nothing without them. However, we are seeing the opposite. More and more women are becoming successful without men backing them up or supporting them. Midge seemingly lost everything that was important to her. However, she got something better out of it. She gained faith in herself and the ability to be her own person, not a wife or a mother. 

One thought on “Meaningful Comedy in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

  1. Isabelle J.

    I love this show! The theme of women empowerment and independence is what makes it so good to me that and the fact that the people pushing her away from that are able to be laughed at by the audience is better. Good job Este!


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