Genre Of Clowning (Drama

& The Essay, Research Paper

The Genre Of Clowning

The genre of clowning actually originates from Greece, where satires had begun originating slowly as time went by. The art of satire was challenged throughout the years to form the various forms of clowning we have today. A clown must have certain abilities or skills to master its comedy upon the audience. It is a profession that requires delicate detail, precise movements, and of course a reaction.

The costume for every type of comedy is extremely different. Commedia Dell’Arte for example required masks for each of the characters, the masks obviated the use of face expression and communication, therefore making the characters more puppet like; relying more upon the use of voice and gesture. Masks were not only used in Commedia Dell’Arte but also in other forms of Greek and Roman dramas. Other forms of comedy usually consist of costumes focusing on the clown’s main faults and/or pertaining the clown’s own personality.

Not only is costume used to make an impression on the audience when first sighting the clown; but also the make-up must be done right to enhance whether the clown is happy, sad, evil, or falls into another category of personality. The make-up also provides great detail, and in a way is a more modern format of the masks used in Greece and Rome during the 15th Century.

When one thinks of clowning, the instant image in mind is the thought of clowns in a circus; performing acrobatic acts and leaving the crowd in awe. This is usually most typical for more ‘physical’ clowns, such as The Three Stooges. Though they do not look like the everyday circus clowns, they perform back flips, somersaults, and portray it all as clumsiness. A clown does not always need to impress an audience by acrobatics, but just by wit; though some audiences are more captivated by the appearance of a physical act. A physical act adds more stamina and energy to a scene, and can leave an audience laughing for hours.

To make an audience laugh a voice is needed to speak and attract attention. Such attention can be provoked by the forms of an accent, exaggeration of the voice, or even silent mime. Though with a mime, more physical action is needed to involve the audience. Modern day clowns tend to stray more so towards no noise and a variety of sounds, exhorted from time to time. I.E; Mr. Bean

A voice shows us all a clown’s own personal traits. The walk of a clown is usually conducted in such a way that the audience can relate to, or in such a hilarious manner that laughter sounds throughout the theatre. A walk is part of a clown’s personality, and as you may have noted, every clown walks their own walk, stating their individuality and independence.

All in all, clowns have formed throughout the years to meet the requirements of a modern day society, but have still managed to hold the descent of Greece and Rome comedy within them.


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