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These literary terms are subsets of the broader dramatic genres “tragedy” and “comedy”, an Aristotelian division. Satire and farce are two kinds of comedy, as are “romantic comedy,” “lampoon,” “drawing room comedy” and “comedy of manners”. The terms seek to differentiate the subject matter, the object of the author’s implied criticism, and the attitude of the author toward the seriousness of the human flaw depicted. The broad definition of comedy is “tragedy avoided”, but it is used primarily to point out human imperfections in a corrective mode. Such imperfections as lust, overweening pride, and greed, are dealt with by means of 1. subtle mimicking of abhorrent behavior (satire); 2. physicalizing and exaggerating imperfections (farce); or 3. taking a superior attitude toward the subject’s weaknesses (romantic comedy).
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