Comedy and Pain



The previous chapter explored the various ways in which pain and violence could be constructed within a performative frame. This chapter seeks to establish a theoretical framework by which we may understand and analyse how and why the depiction of others in pain can make us laugh. This chapter therefore will address the following questions: why does there appear to be a particular link between popular cultural forms and comic pain? How is it possible for the human mind to respond to pain in others with laughter? What kinds of laughter are provoked? What role does empathy or a lack of empathy play? What role does objectification play in this? Building on this knowledge base the chapter than offers a model by which pain in performance can be analysed. Drawing on a range of comic and non-comic examples it is possible to establish exactly which factors have to be in place to provoke laughter in response to pain.


Comic Performance Mirror Neuron High Culture Comic Frame Real Pain 
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© Louise Peacock 2014

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