The Power of Human Spirit

            Paving the way, comedy traditionally deals with the efforts of individuals to survive and create a new and better world - or at least one that is better than the reality the character find themselves in if only for a short period of time. In this way this genre seems to be a means of dealing with both human suffering and failure. This fact is found present in the works of Aristophanes, Voltaire and Altman dealing with a general theme of survival and creativity in their humor. In the light that these authors shed on this topic, comedy celebrates the creative and restorative power of the human spirit by mocking the very soul of their characters; through defeat and tragedy the author degrades the character's spirit and at the same time allows enough time for their character to regain or discover their identity. .

             The satire found in these three works, Lysistrata, Candide, and "M*A*S*H” is obvious but at the same time subtle. Evidence of the satire in these works is found in general through the story as a whole, however subtle criticism can be found through individual analysis. As each work progresses the satire it expresses becomes more evident, but even in the beginning the reader can find careful criticism within the sections of the work. For instance within Voltaire's Candide, attacks are made on the Roman Catholic Church. Voltaire focuses on the hypocrisy of religion at that time, not only within the Catholic Church but Protestant, Judaism, and Islam. Underlying the satire of religious practices is Voltaire's outrage at all forms of fanaticism and intolerance. He relentlessly exposes the cruelties acted out in God's name. Although these attacks may seem at times too biased religion is never discredited; this is more evidence that religion in general is a dangerous area in satire.

             While Voltaire attacks religion, Altman attacks war in his work M*A*S*H. Altman focuses on a mobile military hospital unit active in the middle of the Korean War.

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