Friday, November 1, 2013

Comedy = Tragedy + Time

We've been watching Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors in Philosophy and a quote that really sticks out to me was the pompous television producer's statement that "Comedy is tragedy plus time." 
I completely agree with this statement. For example, say you do something completely embarrassing. Right after the fact you're mortified and want nothing more than to dig a hole head-first into China. If this is where the story ends, it's a tragedy, mainly because it ends in misery. However, say that you use that situation of utter embarrassment as the topic of your college essay. The essay sets you a part, and ultimately helps you receive admission to your dream school. At first, it was a tragedy. However, after some time the story takes a turn and ends in happiness, effectively turning it into a comedy. Now this is an extremely simplified example. However, I think it shows how in time, things tend to work out. Though this may not be true for all stories (Oedipus?) , I think this statement does hold a lot of truth. 


Amy Clement said...

When I first read your post I could only think about that cliche saying, "time heals all wounds." But the more I thought about it, it really is true, the cliche and the statement that comedy is just tragedy plus time, both. Much Ado about Nothing, for example, is a comedy that if the story line wouldn't have progress into a happy ending would have been a tragedy. Comedies in general are just tragedies backwards. It just seems that many comedies start in order, go to disorders and makes it's way back to order.

Kincy GIbson said...

How you described a comedy as a backwards tragedy makes perfect since. For example the movie Shrek starts out as a lonely ogre who hates other creatures (disorder/tragedy). But as the movie progresses the story of Shrek changes to a happy one through much comedic relief. The exact opposite story line would have been a tragedy if it started in order and everyone was happy (Shrek knew donkey and married Fiona ) and then turned tragic when he ended up alone.