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Friday, September 3, 2021

Short notes about Burlesque – Literary Terms

burlesque, burlesque definition, short notes on burlesque, burlesque meaning,what is burlesque

Burlesque – Literary Terms


In general, any kind of satiric imitation. Used more precisely, the term burlesque usually refers to a theater piece, poem, or work of FICTION that spoofs a literary or theatrical GENRE, often poking fun at customs, institutions, and personages in the process. Geoffrey Chaucer's "Tale of Sir Topaz” and Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote are burlesques of the CHIVALRIC ROMANCE. John Gay's The Beggar's Opera spoofs eighteenth-century Italian opera. One of the most famous burlesques is the rustics’ performance of the TRAGEDY of “Pyramus and Thisbe" in William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and another is Charles Dickens' takeoff on amateur productions of Shakespeare in Nicholas Nickleby.

The most important characteristic of burlesque is the discrepancy between its STYLE and its content. High burlesque presents trivial content in an ironically lofty style, often as a MOCK EPIC. In Alexander Pope's Rape of the Lock, for example, the stealing of a lock of a young woman's hair is presented as an event of epic proportions and consequences. Low burlesque treats serious content lightly or even grotesquely. “Springtime for Hitler," the musical comedy being planned in Mel Brooks's film The Producers is an example of low burlesque, also known, when it is GROTESQUE enough, as a travesty.

PARODY differs from burlesque by being a satiric imitation of an author's style or of the style of an individual work, rather than of a genre. CARICATURE IS DESCRIPTION of CHARACTER that exaggerates traits of appearance or personality for comic effect.


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