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Picture of Humorous Structures of English Narratives, 1200-1600

Humorous Structures of English Narratives, 1200-1600

Author(s): Theresa Hamilton

Book Description

We all have the ability to recognize and create humour. But how do we do it?

Salvatore Attardo and Victor Raskin have attempted to explain the workings of humour with their General Theory of Verbal Humor. How well does their theory explain the way humour ‘works’ in a particular text, and can it provide us with interesting, novel interpretations? By identifying and interpreting the narrative structures that create humour, this study tests the usefulness of Attardo & Raskin’s humour theory on a specific corpus of fabliaux, parodies and tragedies.

Hamilton proposes a supplementation of the General Theory of Verbal Humor to create a means of undertaking what she calls a ‘humorist reading’. By posing the questions ‘why is this humorous?’, ‘how is it humorous?’ or ‘why is it not humorous?’ and providing the theoretical tools to answer them, a ‘humorist reading’ can make a valuable contribution to our understanding of a literary text and its place in society.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-4949-4
ISBN-10: 1-4438-4949-9
Date of Publication: 01/09/2013
Pages / Size: 335 / A5
Price: £49.99


Theresa Hamilton studied medieval English at the universities of Jena and Dublin, before completing a doctorate under the supervision of Prof. Monika Fludernik at the University of Freiburg. She has made several contributions to the fields of medieval and humour studies, such as “Der ‘Mechanismus’ des Humors” (eds. Biessenecker & Kuhn) and “The Fabliau” (ed. Fludernik).