Comedy of Manners Vs Comedy of senses of Humours

There are, of course, many similarities between the Comedy of Manners and the Comedy of Humours. Both are based on reality. Both commonly attack anti-social elements and both are sarcastic, but the difference between the two is so much clear that there is no scope for doubt. The Comedy of Manners makes fun of those weaknesses which occur, while the Comedy of Humour characterizes the inherent nature of human nature. 

Difference between Comedy of manners and Comedy of Humours

The Comedy of Manners deals with the superficial characteristics of man, while the Comedy of Humours analyzes the inner feelings of the human heart. Humour may also be used in plays written by playwrights worthy of the Comedy of Manners, but they are not emphasized so much as those in their plays that follow the example of Ben Jonson.

The comedy of manners and the comedy of humours are both types of comedy that focus on the behavior and manners of the characters. However, there are some key differences between the two:

  1. Characters: The comedy of manners typically features characters from the upper or middle classes, who are often depicted as shallow, self-absorbed, and hypocritical. The comedy of humours, on the other hand, focuses on characters with exaggerated or extreme humours (personality traits) that determine their behavior and actions.
  2. Setting: The comedy of manners is often set in a sophisticated, urban setting, such as a salon or a ballroom, where the characters interact with each other and display their manners and social graces. The comedy of humours, on the other hand, can be set in any location, as the focus is on the characters’ humours rather than their social setting.
  3. Plot: The comedy of manners often revolves around the characters’ scheming and manipulations to achieve social and financial success, while the comedy of humours focuses on the characters’ efforts to balance their humours and achieve a state of equilibrium.
  4. Tone: The comedy of manners is often satirical and cynical in tone, poking fun at the hypocrisy and superficiality of the upper classes. The comedy of humours, on the other hand, tends to be more lighthearted and whimsical in tone, with the characters’ exaggerated humours providing the main source of comedy.

 Comedy of Manners is found in our humorous characters, while Jonson displays them in all his supporting characters. The meaning of humour in these two comedies also varies. In Jonson’s plays, the humour is meant to magnify the characteristics of characters, while in the Comedy of Manners, it refers to the superficial oddities that come to humans through the various restrictions and behaviors of social life.

The Comedy of Humour was composed by English scholars who were following a moralistic gimmick in the back, while the Comedy of Manners was inspired by French artists, in particular Moliere. The depth and intensity of Comedy of Humour are not seen in Comedy of Manners.

 While Jonson has taken up the weaknesses of his time and tried to correct them through his writing, at the same time Comedy of Manners only presents an unusual form of the fashionable life of his time. The intensity of Jonson’s ideas was refined and corrected by Congreve in the intelligent-controlled way in which he moved the momentum wisely. The Comedy of Humour is universal in itself, as it expresses a high level of morality. The Comedy of Manners, on the other hand, displays a hatred for the simple level of morality. Its significance is hopeful, as it shows only the superficial aspect of life at a particular time.

Jonson’s comedy is a satirical comedy, while the Comedy of Manners is certainly a comedy of intelligence. The rigor and satire are found more in the Comedy of Humour rather in the Comedy of Manners. This type of comedy is fragile. It emphasizes the satirical display of the incompatibility between two thoughts and one idea and action by the power of intelligence. Both have different writing methods.

 Ben Jonson’s writing style is poetic and emotional, while the style of the practitioners of Comedy of Manners is cultured, intelligent, and littered with literally complex techniques. In fact, the difference between the two types of comedy is in – according to Bonamy Dobree –  the art of showing on stage, rather in the view of. The characters in Humour’ comedy reveal some more vibrancy. Restoration comedy is the creation of the younger generation, the freshness is full and powerful but it also has a sense of easy irresponsibility for the younger generation. 

Who is known as comedy of humours?

The comedy of humours is a type of comedy that was popular in Elizabethan England, especially in the works of William Shakespeare. In this type of comedy, the characters are defined by a dominant personality trait or “humour” that determines their behavior and actions.

Shakespeare is perhaps the most well-known writer of the comedy of humours, and many of his plays, such as “The Comedy of Errors,” “As You Like It,” and “Twelfth Night,” feature characters with exaggerated or extreme humours.

Other writers of the Elizabethan era, such as Ben Jonson and John Marston, also wrote comedies of humours. The comedy of humours was a popular form of comedy in Elizabethan England, and it can still be found in modern works of comedy that depict characters with exaggerated or dominant personality traits.

Who is the father of the comedy of manners?

The comedy of manners is a type of comedy that focuses on the social and moral conventions of a particular society, often poking fun at the behavior and manners of its characters.
William Congreve is often credited as the father of the comedy of manners. Congreve was an English playwright who wrote plays such as “The Way of the World” and “Love for Love,” which are considered classic examples of the comedy of manners.
In these plays, Congreve satirizes the manners and behavior of the upper classes and their obsession with social status and refinement. His characters are often portrayed as shallow, self-absorbed, and hypocritical, and the plots often revolve around their scheming and manipulations to achieve social and financial success.
Congreve’s plays have had a lasting influence on the genre of the comedy of manners, and his work continues to be widely studied and admired today.

Who made the first comedy?

It is difficult to pinpoint a specific individual or group of individuals who can be credited with creating the first comedy. Comedy as a genre has a long and varied history, and it has evolved over time in different cultures and societies.
However, ancient Greek playwrights such as Aristophanes and Menander are often credited as some of the earliest and most influential writers of comedy. Their plays, which were written in the 5th and 4th centuries BCE, often poked fun at social and political issues and featured characters with exaggerated or absurd personalities.
Aristophanes, in particular, is known for his satirical plays that lampooned contemporary society and politics. His works, such as “The Clouds” and “Lysistrata,” are considered classic examples of ancient Greek comedy and have had a lasting influence on the genre.

Leave a Comment