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Dr H. Martensen p2

Dr H. Martensen, in his book Christian Ethics, continues on naivete or simplicity in comedy characters…

He writes: The more the comic developes itself in its higher forms, the more does seriouslness shine through it.

He said that J.C. Heiberg held sprightliness, irony and humour as the three principal forms of the comic.

Gaity and wit aimlessly let their light sparkle and glitter.

In irony the serious becomes more prominent…”Just because irony has an object, and through the destruction of the manifold illusions desires to quicken the moral sense, will seriousness and the pessimist background often shine through.”

He says: In humour we have a combination of sportive gaity and mocking irony.

He said that like Holbert, Moliere possessed comic gaity; but that he possessed far finer and deeper powers of reflection, and so his pieces contained an irony far deeper than that of Holberg — “an irony which often causes one at the most ludicrous passages to be seized with a shuddering earnestness, as is also the case with Hogarth’s paintings; so that one at once laughs and shudders in regarding these depths of social depravity; so that behind the comic mask one suddenly discovers an entirely different face, the poet’s own, which contemplates this world of folly with pain and indignation, because it perceives it as a world of vice and misery.”

Continued next page…