- From "The Bear," what conclusions can you draw about farce as a dramatic form?
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Let us not forget that this play is subtitled "A Joke (or a Farce) in One Act." Therefore we can say that this is a play that is representative of the genre of farce. One of the aspects of farce that is definitely present in this hilarioius play is the occurrence of absurd situations that only become more and more ridiculous. We can see this is evident in the anger that Mrs. Popov expresses towards Smirnov and the way that she challenges him to a duel, even though she has never fired a pistol before in her life. What makes this situation even more farcical is that the angrier Mrs. Popov gets, the more Smirnov falls in love with her, and her stirred up emotions correspond to his feelings of passion for her. Note what Mrs. Popov says after Smirnov has just shown her how to fire a pistol:
Now don't you try to get out of it, Mr. Smirnov. My blood is up. I won't be happy till I've drilled a hole through that skull of yours. Follow me. What's the matter? Scared?
It is of course farcical that Smirnov chooses this precise moment to declare his love of Mrs. Popov, whilst she is joyfully contemplating shooting him in the head. Such scenes make this an excellent example of the farce form and add greatly to the humour of the play.
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