Humour in "The Visit" by Henrik Ibsen

Essay by maxhackHigh School, 11th grade May 2004

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The majority of the humour in The Visit is based on black humour. Black humour is more of an obscure form of humour. Black humour is basically writing that places grotesque elements side by side with funny ones in an attempt to shock the reader forcing him or her to laugh at the horrifying reality of a disordered world.

The first bit of comedy in this act occurs with Claire and Boby the butler. Claire --> "Boby, pass me my left leg. Butler --> "I can't find it, Madam." Claire --> "On the chest of drawers behind the wedding flowers." This is a perfect example of black humour. This is sure to remind everyone of her prostetic leg and consequently her overall gruesome figure and the fact that she lost her leg would make almost anyone laugh.

Alot of the humour in this act is due to Claire's deal for donating the money.

In exchange for the death of Alfred Ill she would donate 1 million dollars to the town. 500 thousand for the town itself and 500 tousand to be divided between the citizens. Although all the Guelleners seem to be disgusted by the proposition and outright reject it it seems they all expect someone to kill Ill anyways. All the townspeople seem to have bought new shoes, all on account and many of them are now coming to Ill's shop and buying things on credit. None of them have jobs and so must be expecting the money from Claire. When Man One, Hoffbauer comes in and buys more expensive cigaretts Ill puts no thought to it and I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. However, when the two women and man two come in and they too are wearing new shoes and buy...