Humour


Humour is the tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement. The term derives from the humoral medicine of the ancient Greeks, which taught that the balance of fluids in the human body. Probably it has descended from the Latin umor meaning body fluid, control human health and emotion.

All people are subject to the emotional process that is called humour and the consequent experiences. The triggers, interpretation, or understanding of humour are variable, making it a very difficult phenomenon to measure.

Raphael’s School of Athens

Western humour theory begins with Plato, who attributed to Socrates in a semi historical dialogue character in the Philebus. He attributed the view that the essence of the ridiculous is an ignorance in the weak, who are thus unable to retaliate when ridiculed. Later in Greek philosophy, Aristotle suggested in the Poetics that an ugliness that does not disgust is fundamental to humour.

In ancient Sanskrit drama, humour is defined as one of the nine principle emotional responses, which can be inspired in the audience by imitations of emotions that the actors perform. Each emotional response was associated with a specific emotional imitation portrayed on stage. In the case of humour, it was associated with amusement.

The terms comedy and satire became synonymous after Aristotle’s Poetics was translated into Arabic in the medieval Islamic world. Due to cultural differences, the Arabs disassociated comedy from Greek dramatic representation, and instead identified it with Arabic poetic themes and forms, such as satirical poetry. They viewed comedy as simply the art of reprehension and made no reference to light and cheerful events or troubled beginnings and happy endings associated with classical Greek comedy. After the Latin translations of the twelfth-century, the term comedy thus gained a new semantic meaning in Medieval literature.

When objectively viewed; humour frequently contains an unexpected, often sudden, shift in perspective. There are, however, many who claim that humour cannot or should not be explained.

As with any form of art, acceptance depends on social demographics and varies from person to person. Throughout history, comedy has been used as a form of entertainment all over the world, whether in the courts of the western kings or the villages of the far east. Both a social etiquette and a certain intelligence can be displayed through forms of wit and sarcasm.

Humour occurs when the brain recognizes a pattern that surprises it, and that recognition of this sort is rewarded with the experience of the humorous response, an element of which is broadcast as laughter.

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