Visual Comedy in the 20’s

Dramatic comedy has evolved over the years to adjust to society’s type of humor. What we refer to as comedy today has a lot to do with how characters in film or tv combine elements of drama and comedy and it usually depicts incidents in which a character ultimately triumphs over adversity. This clip from the silent film, “The Lions Cage” shows english comic actor, Charlie Chaplin in a circus. Although the film is silent the feelings of the characters are conveyed through different aspects such as hand gestures, facial expressions, musical effects and subtitles. I can tell by watching this clip that the purpose is to amuse those watching by putting a character in a difficult situation and observing his actions as he tries to get out of the situation. To me the facial expressions and body language of Chaplin is what really bring out the comedic aspect to the situation. Not only can people find humor in the setting of the movie but also in how the character moves around and acts within the setting. I can also infer that people find humor in the suffering of others. Not in an evil kind of way but in joking manner where the character is obviously acting out the “normal”.

Although this movie was made for audiences in the 1920’s this kind of humor continues to entertain people in the present day. This is because it is human nature to find humor in such situations where another person overcomes a challenge. Although comedy is a lot about making people laugh, it is also about telling a story using different aspects and factors for entertainment. I believe comedy is a meaningful form of art because is inclusive. I think it would be wrong to see comedy as not meaningful or standardized because it incorporates many different forms of expression and it varies throughout time and culture to reflect the feelings and humor of many audiences.

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