farce

/fahrs/, n., v., farced, farcing.
n.
1. a light, humorous play in which the plot depends upon a skillfully exploited situation rather than upon the development of character.
2. humor of the type displayed in such works.
3. foolish show; mockery; a ridiculous sham.
4. Cookery. forcemeat.
v.t.
5. to season (a speech or composition), esp. with witty material.
6. Obs. to stuff; cram.
[1300-50; (n.) ME fars stuffing < MF farce < VL *farsa, n. use of fem. of L farsus, earlier fartus stuffed, ptp. of farcire to stuff; (v.) ME farsen < OF farcir < L farcire]
Syn. 3. burlesque, travesty.

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Light, dramatic composition that uses highly improbable situations, stereotyped characters, violent horseplay, and broad humour.

Farce is generally regarded as intellectually and aesthetically inferior to comedy in its crude characterizations and implausible plots, but it has remained popular throughout the West from ancient times to the present.

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drama
      a comic dramatic piece that uses highly improbable situations, stereotyped characters, extravagant exaggeration, and violent horseplay. The term also refers to the class or form of drama made up of such compositions. Farce is generally regarded as intellectually and aesthetically inferior to comedy in its crude characterizations and implausible plots, but it has been sustained by its popularity in performance and has persisted throughout the Western world to the present.

      Antecedents of farce are found in ancient Greek and Roman theatre, both in the comedies of Aristophanes and Plautus and in the popular native Italian fabula Atellana, entertainments in which the actors played stock character types—such as glutton, graybeard, and clown—who were caught in exaggerated situations.

      It was in 15th-century France that the term farce was first used to describe the elements of clowning, acrobatics, caricature, and indecency found together within a single form of entertainment. Such pieces were initially bits of impromptu buffoonery inserted by actors into the texts of religious plays—hence the use of the Old French word farce, “stuffing.” Such works were afterward written independently, the most amusing of the extant texts being Maistre Pierre Pathelin (c. 1470). French farce spread quickly throughout Europe, notable examples being the interludes of John Heywood in 16th-century England. Shakespeare and Molière eventually came to use elements of farce in their comedies.

      Farce continued throughout the 18th and 19th centuries; in France, Eugène-Marin Labiche's Le Chapeau de paille d'Italie (1851; An Italian Straw Hat) and Georges Feydeau's La Puce à l'oreille (1907; A Flea in Her Ear) were notable successes. Farce also surfaced in music hall, vaudeville, and boulevard entertainments.

      Farce survived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in such plays as Charley's Aunt (1892) by Brandon Thomas and found new expression in film comedies with Charlie Chaplin (Chaplin, Charlie), the Keystone Kops, and the Marx Brothers. The farces presented at the Aldwych Theatre, London, between the world wars were enormously popular, and numerous successful television comedy shows attest to the durability of the form. Examples from the second half of the century are the Italian Dario Fo's Morte accidentale di un anarchico (1974; Accidental Death of an Anarchist), Michael Frayn's Noises Off (1982), and Alan Ayckbourn's Communicating Doors (1995).

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • FARCE — On appelle farces les pièces de théâtre comiques composées du XIIIe jusqu’au XVIe siècle. On ne les nomme pas comédies parce que, selon les Arts poétiques du Moyen Âge, ce terme s’applique aux poèmes dont le début est triste et la fin plutôt… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • farce — 1. (far s ) s. f. 1°   Terme de cuisine. Viandes hachées et épicées, qu on introduit dans les volailles ou dans le gibier mis à la broche, dans les pâtés, etc. 2°   Hachis fait d herbes cuites. Farce d épinards.    Par extension. Farce d oseille …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Farce — Farce, n. [F. farce, from L. farsus (also sometimes farctus), p. p. pf farcire. See {Farce}, v. t.] 1. (Cookery) Stuffing, or mixture of viands, like that used on dressing a fowl; forcemeat. [1913 Webster] 2. A low style of comedy; a dramatic… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Farce — (von französisch farce „Einlage“, von lateinisch farcire „hineinstopfen“) steht für: Farce (Küche), eine aus verschiedenen Zutaten bereitete Füllung für Fleisch und Fischgerichte Farce (Theater), ein derbes, komisches Lustspiel, eine Posse, im… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Farce — Sf Posse, lächerliche Angelegenheit erw. fremd. Erkennbar fremd (17. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus frz. farce, eigentlich (Fleisch )Füllung in dieser Bedeutung wird das Wort in die Küchensprache entlehnt , zu l. farcīre stopfen . Die übertragene… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • farce — [färs] n. [Fr, stuffing, hence farce < VL * farsa < pp. of L farcire, to stuff: early farces were used to fill interludes between acts] 1. Now Rare stuffing, as for a fowl 2. an exaggerated comedy based on broadly humorous, highly unlikely… …   English World dictionary

  • Farce — Farce, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Farced}, p. pr. & vb. n. {Farcing}.] [F. Farcir, L. farcire; akin to Gr. ???????? to fence in, stop up. Cf. {Force} to stuff, {Diaphragm}, {Frequent}, {Farcy}, {Farse}.] 1. To stuff with forcemeat; hence, to fill with… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Farce — Le nom est surtout porté dans le Puy de Dôme. Sens incertain. On peut évidemment penser au surnom d un fabricant de pâtés ou à un farceur. Il me semble cependant plus intéressant d y voir une déformation de Force (= forteresse, nom de deux… …   Noms de famille

  • farce — late 14c., force meat, stuffing; 1520s, as a type of dramatic work, from M.Fr. farce comic interlude in a mystery play (16c.), lit. stuffing, from O.Fr. farcir to stuff, (13c.), from L. farcire to stuff, cram, of unknown origin, perhaps related… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Farce — »Posse«: Das Substantiv wurde um 1600 aus gleichbed. frz. farce entlehnt, das später (im 18. Jh.) auch in seiner Grundbedeutung »Fleischfüllsel« als Fachwort der Gastronomie übernommen wurde. Die Bedeutungsentwicklung erklärt sich daraus, dass… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

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