Parody is the greatest compliment to the original- discuss in relation to the mouse trap by agatha christie and the real inspector hound by tom stoppard

Essay by chantelle280High School, 12th gradeA+, May 2004

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"Parody is the greatest compliment to the original"

By definition, parody is a comic imitation of a piece of writing. The essence of parody is the treatment of a light theme in the style appropriate to a serious work

In parody, the theme and the characters are greatly modified or completely changed, but the style of the original is closely followed in those peculiarities that easily lend themselves to ridicule. There can be no doubt that "The Real Inspector Hound" is a parody of Agatha Christies play "The Mouse Trap". The characters, setting and to some extent the plot of the earlier work are mirrored in this theatrical spoof. Stoppard is able to encapsulate the main fundamentals associated with crime fiction by humorously mimicking Agatha Christie's arguably most successful work.

The crime fiction genre is usually set out with a professional detective who follows the clues to solve a mystery, usually a most puzzling murder.

Crime fiction has enjoyed longevity because of its formula, which traditionally includes the following: In the classic crime fiction the detective relies on his witty observations and deductions to track down the arch-villain. He then separates the clues and the red- herrings along the way. The final scene is usually where the real suspect is revealed and the pieces of the puzzle sewn together with a serious of explanations that define what would seem impossible. Justice is always seen to be done.

"The Real Inspector Hound" by Tom Stoppard satirises many conventions of crime fiction and in particular, Agatha Christie's " The Mouse Trap", famous among British drawing room mysteries. "The Mouse Trap" by Christie is the longest continuously running play in history. It opened at the Ambassador Theatre London on November 25th 1952 and can seen be seen in...