burlesque


burlesque
burlesquely, adv.burlesquer, n.
/beuhr lesk"/, n., adj., v., burlesqued, burlesquing.
n.
1. an artistic composition, esp. literary or dramatic, that, for the sake of laughter, vulgarizes lofty material or treats ordinary material with mock dignity.
2. any ludicrous parody or grotesque caricature.
3. Also, burlesk. a humorous and provocative stage show featuring slapstick humor, comic skits, bawdy songs, striptease acts, and a scantily clad female chorus.
adj.
4. involving ludicrous or mocking treatment of a solemn subject.
5. of, pertaining to, or like stage-show burlesque.
v.t.
6. to make ridiculous by mocking representation.
v.i.
7. to use caricature.
[1650-60; < F < It burlesco, equiv. to burl(a) jest (perh. < Sp; cf. BURLADERO) + -esco -ESQUE]
Syn. 1. satire, lampoon, farce. BURLESQUE, CARICATURE, PARODY, TRAVESTY refer to the literary or dramatic forms that imitate serious works or subjects to achieve a humorous or satiric purpose. The characteristic device of BURLESQUE is mockery of both high and low through association with their opposites: a burlesque of high and low life. CARICATURE, usually associated with visual arts or with visual effects in literary works, implies exaggeration of characteristic details: The caricature emphasized his nose.
PARODY achieves its humor through application of the manner or technique, usually of a well-known writer, to unaccustomed subjects: a parody by Swift. TRAVESTY implies a grotesque form of burlesque: characters so changed as to produce a travesty.

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In literature, comic imitation of a serious literary or artistic form that relies on an extravagant incongruity between a subject and its treatment.

It is closely related to parody, though burlesque is generally broader and coarser. Early examples include the comedies of Aristophanes. English burlesque is chiefly drama. John Gay's The Beggar's Opera (1728), Henry Fielding's Tom Thumb (1730), and Richard Brinsley Sheridan's The Critic (1779) are parodies of popular dramatic forms of the period. Victorian burlesque, usually light entertainment with music, was eclipsed by other popular forms by the late 19th century, and burlesque eventually came to incorporate and be identified with striptease acts (see burlesque show).

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      in literature, comic imitation of a serious literary or artistic form that relies on an extravagant incongruity between a subject and its treatment. In burlesque the serious is treated lightly and the frivolous seriously; genuine emotion is sentimentalized, and trivial emotions are elevated to a dignified plane. Burlesque is closely related to parody, in which the language and style of a particular author, poem, or other work is mimicked, although burlesque is generally broader and coarser.

      The long history of burlesque includes such early examples in Greece as Batrachomyomachia (The Battle of the Frogs and Mice), an anonymous burlesque of Homer, and the comedies of Aristophanes (5th–4th century BC). The long-winded medieval romance is satirized in Geoffrey Chaucer's 14th-century “Tale of Sir Thopas”; the Charlemagne story and the whole theme of chivalry is mocked in the epic-style Morgante by Luigi Pulci. Italian burlesque of the 15th century attacked the concept of chivalry as a dying aristocratic notion lacking in common sense, and it thus anticipates Miguel de Cervantes' novel Don Quixote, which is, however, of a size and seriousness that takes it out of the reach of burlesque. In the France of Louis XIV, burlesque was used by the “moderns” in their quarrel with the “ancients” and vice versa. The Virgile Travesty (1648–53) of Paul Scarron is one of the best known of many burlesque or antiheroic epics on classical themes.

      English burlesque is chiefly dramatic, notable exceptions being Samuel Butler's satiric poem Hudibras (1663–78), an indictment of Puritan hypocrisy; the mock heroic couplets of John Dryden and Alexander Pope; and the prose burlesques of Jonathan Swift and Henry Fielding. George Villiers' play The Rehearsal (1671), which mocks the Restoration drama of Dryden and Thomas Otway; John Gay's Beggar's Opera (1728); Henry Fielding's Tom Thumb (1730); Richard Brinsley Sheridan's The Critic (1779); and Henry Carey's “most tragical tragedy” Chrononhotonthologos (1734) are the outstanding survivals from an age when burlesque was cruelly satirical and often defamatory. The heroic Bombardinion's lines in the following fragment from Carey's play resemble the more kindly, punning Victorian burlesque, however:

Go call a coach, and let a coach be called;
And let the man who calls it be the caller;
And in his calling, let him nothing call,
But coach! coach! coach! Oh! for a coach,
ye gods!

      Authors of Victorian burlesque—light entertainment with music, the plots of which were frivolously modeled on those of history, literature, or classical mythology—included H.J. Byron, J.R. Planché, and W.S. Gilbert (before his partnership with Arthur Sullivan). Before the end of the 19th century, burlesque yielded in popular favour to musical comedy in Britain and had become almost exclusively identified with vaudeville humour in the United States.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • burlesque — [ byrlɛsk ] adj. et n. m. • 1666; bourrelesque 1594; it. burlesco, de burla « plaisanterie » 1 ♦ D un comique extravagant et déroutant. ⇒ bouffon, comique, loufoque. Un accoutrement burlesque. Farce, film burlesque. ♢ Par ext. Tout à fait… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Burlesque — is theatrical entertainment of broad and parodic humor, which usually consists of comic skits (and sometimes a strip tease). Some authorsFact|date=September 2008 assert burlesque is a direct descendant of the Commedia dell arte; the term… …   Wikipedia

  • Burlesque — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Burlesque se refiere a espectáculos teatrales, que suelen consistir en historietas de parodia. Si bien algunos autores afirman que burlesque es un descendiente directo de la Comedia del arte, el término burlesque… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Burlesque — Bur*lesque , n. 1. Ludicrous representation; exaggerated parody; grotesque satire. [1913 Webster] Burlesque is therefore of two kinds; the first represents mean persons in the accouterments of heroes, the other describes great persons acting and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • burlesque — BURLESQUE. adj. de tout genre. Qui est propre pour la taillerie. Une chose burlesque. vers burlesques. style burlesque. cela est burlesque …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Burlesque — Bur*lesque , a. [F. burlesque, fr. It. burlesco, fr. burla jest, mockery, perh. for burrula, dim. of L. burrae trifles. See {Bur}.] Tending to excite laughter or contempt by extravagant images, or by a contrast between the subject and the manner… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Burlesque — Bur*lesque , v. i. To employ burlesque. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • burlesque — 1660s, derisive imitation, grotesque parody, from Fr. burlesque (16c.), from It. burlesco, from burla joke, fun, mockery, possibly ultimately from L.L. burra trifle, nonsense, lit. flock of wool. Modern sense of variety show featuring striptease… …   Etymology dictionary

  • burlesque — n *caricature, parody, travesty Analogous words: mimicry, mockery, imitation (see corresponding verbs at COPY): *fun, jest, sport, game: satire, sarcasm, humor, *wit: derision, ridicule (see corresponding verbs at RIDICULE) burlesque vb… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • burlesque — [adj] farcical caricatural, comic, ironical, ludicrous, mock, mocking, parodic, satirical, travestying; concept 555 burlesque [n] bawdy show; vaudeville burly*, caricature, farce, lampoon, lampoonery, mock, mockery, parody, pastiche, peep show,… …   New thesaurus

  • burlesque — [bər lesk′] n. [Fr < It burlesco < burla, a jest, mockery] 1. any broadly comic or satirical imitation, as of a writing, play, etc.; derisive caricature; parody ☆ 2. a sort of vaudeville characterized by low comedy, striptease acts, etc.… …   English World dictionary


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