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How Is Farcical Humour Used In Blackadder?

817 words - 4 pages

How is farcical humour used in Blackadder?
(Target from last piece: consider your points and whether they are fully representative of the character)
“Blackadder” takes brief snapshots from arguably Britain’s darkest periods in history, in this series the First World War, and uses humour in adversity. Due to the distance from the event, the audience is able to witness the experience of the front line from a different, and arguably more human perspective. Extravagant, melodramatic characters such as Melchett act serve the dual purpose of being both humorous and serve to the greater effect of providing a (belated) scathing social commentary. Likewise, underneath both George’s seemingly ...view middle of the document...

Elton and Curtis successfully create a parodic characterture of the military elite, who are incapable of understanding or comprehending the concept of modern trench warfare and who are separated culturally, socially and value-wise from the men they command. The audience is separated from Melchett in the same way Baldrick is, thus are likely to empathise with him. The juxtaposition of the question and Baldrick’s response (“No-sir-I’m-absolutely-terrified”) emphasises further Melchett’s ridiculousness. Baldrick’s response is tongue in check, as he appears to be disrespectful to a superior, though is justifiable as he only mirrors Melchett. Aside from the humour created, the audience are able to sympathise with Baldrick (and in turn, the soldiers generally) due to his poor treatment.
George is painfully enthusiastic and optimistic, often failing to see what is right in front of his eyes. He isn't stupid as such, at very least in comparison to Baldrick ( man who owns the bullet with his name on) but is certainly naïve. With a privileged but heavily sheltered upbringing, he has a limited grasp of the reality of war. Similar to Melchett, George’s speech is excessively filled with upper class colloquialisms. However, in this context, it emphasises George’s innocence, rather than portraying him as elitist, because of this the audience is able to identify with him more so. At the mention of “going over the top”, he is eager for the opportunity to...

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