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farce

farce, light, comic theatrical piece in which the characters and events are greatly exaggerated to produce broad, absurd humor. Early examples of farce can be found in the comedies of Aristophanes, Plautus, and Terence. During the Middle Ages the term farce designated interpolations made in the church litany by the clergy. Later it came to mean comic scenes inserted into church plays. The farce emerged as a separate genre in 15th-century France with such plays as the anonymous La farce de Maître Pierre Pathelin (c.1470). In England two of the earliest and best-known farces are Ralph Roister Doister (1566) and Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors (c.1593). Instances of farcical elements, such as broad, ribald humor, physical buffoonery, and absurd situations can be found in many plays that are not termed farces, such as the comedies of Molière. In the 19th and early 20th cent. plays called "bedroom farces," best exemplified in the works of Feydeau, were popular. Usually French or modeled on the French, they had suggestive dialogue, and they usually concerned erring husbands and wives, silly servants, and mistaken identity. In the 20th cent., farce found new expression in the films of Charlie Chaplin, the Keystone Kops, and the Marx Brothers.

See A. Bermel, Farce (1983).

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farce

farce short dramatic work the sole object of which is to excite laughter. XVI. — (O)F. farce, orig. ‘stuffing’, f. farcir stuff :- L. farcīre (in medL. pad out, interlard). The latinized form farsa, farcia, was applied in XIII to phrases interpolated in liturgical texts, hence to impromptu amplifications of the text of religious plays, whence the transition to the present sense was easy.
Hence farcical XVIII.

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farce

farce / färs/ • n. a comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay and typically including crude characterization and ludicrously improbable situations. ∎  the genre of such works. ∎  an absurd event: the debate turned into a drunken farce. DERIVATIVES: far·ci·cal adj. a farcical tangle of events.

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farce

farce Comic drama typified by stereotypical characterizations, improbable plot lines and emphasis on physical humour. One of the earliest examples is Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors (c.1593). French dramatist Georges Feydeau developed the ‘bedroom farce’. Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) opened up new dramatic possibilities.

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farce

farce Stuffing, hence forcemeat as a name for meats used as stuffing.

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farce

farcearse, baas, brass, carse, class, coup de grâce, farce, glass, grass, Grasse, impasse, Kars, kick-ass, kvass, Laplace, Maas, Madras, outclass, pass, sparse, stained glass, surpass, upper class, volte-face •badass • lardass • sandglass •eyeglass, spyglass •wine glass • tooth glass • subclass •hourglass •fibreglass (US fiberglass) • underclass •masterclass • weather glass • bypass •underpass • wheatgrass • ryegrass •knotgrass • sawgrass • bluegrass •goosegrass • smart-arse

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