Truth and the Comedic Art by Michael Gelven PDF

By Michael Gelven

ISBN-10: 0791446638

ISBN-13: 9780791446638

Conventional philosophy areas a novel emphasis on tragedy, performing less than the belief that tragedy is extra profound than comedy. Gelven argues that comedy merits equivalent if now not higher awareness from philosophy. during the interpretative readings and urban research of 3 classical works, Gelven indicates that comedy presents an entry to fact unavailable via the other ability. Silvius in Shakespeares's As you're keen on It, Cherubino in Mozart's the wedding of Figaro, and Lord Goring in Wilde's an awesome Husband are tested when it comes to why and the way they're comedian, in addition to how and why they're obvious either as fools and but as graced. Gelven unearths that during revealing the spirit of graced folly, comedy teaches us approximately our personal essence, the elemental nature of our finitude. it will unquestionably be of substantial value not just to philosophical aestheticians or literary critics, but in addition for these looking to comprehend the character of fact itself.

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Example text

His sudden, impulsive repetition of Ogni donna mi fa palpitar (“every woman makes me tremble”) intensifies his vulnerability. The sonority deepens and the tempo slows at solo ai nomi d’amor (“at the very word, love, I tremble”). The modulation ripens even further, with a rich, rolling luxurious sensuousness at Parlo d’amor vegliando (“I speak of love when I’m awake”)—then thickens further like simmering chocolate on the stove, at the next line Parlo d’amor sognando (“I speak of love when I sleep”).

This idol of moral rectitude is rather quickly revealed as one with a spotted past whose wealth and prestige were due to a criminal act of what today would be called insider trading. When approached by the wicked Mrs. Cheveley with the threat of blackmail, his puffing outrage is soon outclassed by the realization of the peril confronting him, and he agrees to support the Argentine Canal. However, when his wife assures him that his support would force her to leave him, he, and we the audience, realize the issue is far more grave than mere blackmail can resolve.

The parallel therefore need not be seen as causal; but to deny causal connection between the art works and the variations of epochs does not keep one from spotting an isomorphism in their existential meaning. We are, both historically and as mirrored in comic art, capable of corrupt decadence and the redemptive salvation from it. That parallel alone suffices. As is the case in the Shakespearean and Mozartian comedy, the figure chosen for consideration is not the focal character in the plot: Sir Robert Chiltern and his wife are; but he is a dominant player; far more than either Silvius or Cherubino.

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Truth and the Comedic Art by Michael Gelven

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