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Comedies often show characters who suffer from common forms of human folly with which...

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shani28 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted June 27, 2012 at 5:41 PM via web

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Comedies often show characters who suffer from common forms of human folly with which we can all identify. Is this true of "Soap Opera"?

If so, what sorts of human folly are made fun of here?

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted June 27, 2012 at 6:43 PM (Answer #1)

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Soap operas are not a literary form but it is a story-telling form—while it is true the scripts are written down, so is the phone book.  Soap opera is a subgenre of performance art (theatre, juggling, magic acts, etc.), through the medium of television, which has its own generic categories—sitcoms, cop dramas, reality shows, etc.  But to address the core of your question: Yes, all of the human deadly sins are represented here—greed, lust, jealousy, etc., etc.—and the human follies—fear of the unknown, suspicion, doubt, naivete, wrong lessons learned from past experiences, confusing tittilation with attraction, etc. etc.--but the essential element for comedy—tragedy avoided—is not present. A continuing drama like soap operas, will cover all human activity eventually, and plenty of fantasy and oddness too—doppelgangers, twins, etc.—but human folly is always fodder for drama, comic or tragic.  The term “soap opera” comes from the sponsors of the daytime series—usually a maker of products for cleaning the home (a pre-women’s lib assumption underlying the targeting), and the centuries-old opera tradition (both comic operas and tragic operas).

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