Guide to Literary Terms

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Farce

Farce - a foolish show or a ridiculous sham. Also, a light, humorous play in which the plot depends upon a carefully exploited situation rather than upon character development. Farce is usually considered to be a boisterous comedy involving ludicrous action and dialogue which is intended to excite laughter through exaggeration and extravagance rather than by a realistic imitation of life. It contains exaggerated physical action which is often repeated, exaggeration of character and situation, absurd situations, and surprises in the form of unexpected appearances and disclosures. The characters and dialogue are almost always subservient to the plot and situation which are so complex that the events happen with bewildering rapidity. Elements of farce can be found in Classical Literature, and it is the mainstay of many television and film...

(The entire section is 272 words.)