Comedy of Humours

The comedy of humours refers to a genre of dramatic comedy that focuses on a character or range of characters, each of whom two or more overriding traits or ‘humours’ that dominates their personality, desires and conduct. This comic technique may be found in Aristophanes, but the English playwrights Ben Jonson and George Chapman popularized the genre in the closing years of the sixteenth century. In the later half of the seventeenth century, it was combined with the comedy of manners in Restoration comedy.

Dallas Baptist University Very good definition of Comedy of Humours.

Edwin Wilson Online glossary from the author’s well known text The Theatre Experience that includes a definition for Comedy of Humours. Theatre dictionary with entry on Comedy of Humours.

Goucher College Excellent discussion of how Comedy of Humours got its title.

Jack Lynch Excellent explanation of the origins of a Comedy of Humours drama, with reference to Ben Jonson.

Theatre Biography of Comedy of Humours Elizabethan playwright Ben Jonson.

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