Use of Humor by Woody Allen and Sigmund Freud Essay

Use of Humor by Woody Allen and Sigmund Freud Essay

Length: 2499 words (7.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Research Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview


The concept of humor is an incredibly complicated one, having undergone complex analyses and innumerable manners of usage from the times of the ancient Greeks through the modern era. Masters of comedy and their works have become part of the human experience, widely ranging from Shakespeare’s masterful Much Ado About Nothing to the much-loved television series I Love Lucy. Humor, although in many ways considered to be largely mass-market and tailored to the popular majority, has not escaped the realm of scholarly analysis. Sigmund Freud, in particular, explored many aspects of humor, culminating in his famous work The Joke and Its Relation to the Unconscious. In this essay, I would like to explore Freud’s fascinating ideas about the nature of humor, comparing them to the ideas of another expert in his own discipline, actor and director Woody Allen. Regarding the philosophy of humor and its effect on both the humorist and his or her listener, Freud and Allen share many concepts of the inner workings and overall process of comedy and wit. This agreement is especially apparent when considering the quality of Jewish humor and the characteristics of the Jewish comedian.
Freud’s Conception of the Nature of Humor
When Freud produced The Joke and Its Relation to the Unconscious, the discipline of psychoanalysis was in its beginning stages. The Joke was the final work in a series of three books, all focused on seemingly minor individual aspects of the mental life of people and discussed how these issues could reveal important clues about the inner workings of the intellect. The first two books were Interpretation of Dreams, written in 1900, and Psychopathology of Everyday Life, which was written in 1901. All three works offer a bett...


... middle of paper ...


...eru, Illinois: Carus Publishing, 2004. 132-150. Print.
Billig, Michael. “Freud and the Language of Humor.” The Psychologist 15 9 (2002): 452-455. Electronic.
Bleiweiss, Mark E. “Self-Deprecation and the Jewish Humor of Woody Allen.” The Films of Woody Allen: Critical Essays. Ed. Charles P. Silet. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2006. 58-77. Electronic.
Freud, Sigmund. The Joke and Its Relation to the Unconscious. New York: Penguin, 2002. Print.
Freud, Sigmund. Beyond the Pleasure Principle: The Standard Edition. New York: W.W. Norton, 1990. Print.
Freud, Sigmund. “Humour.” International Journal of Psycho-Analysis 9 (1928): 1-6. Electronic.
Girgus, Sam B. The Films of Woody Allen, Second Edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Electronic.
Yacowar, Maurice. Loser Takes All: The Comic Art of Woody Allen. New York: Ungar, 1979. Print.


Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Edgar Allen Poe and Humor Essay

- Edgar Allen Poe and Humor Edgar Allen Poe is most often recognized, and certainly most famous, for his poem “The Raven” as well as other decidedly dark and often gothic poems and stories, stories such as “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Telltale Heart” “The Cask of Amontillado.” He also wrote many others mostly involving rather macabre, dark topics and characters as well as heavy themes such as insanity, madness, incest, murder and revenge. While this reputation is certainly well earned there is another side of Poe that is not quite so obvious....   [tags: Edgar Allen Poe Humorous Essays]

Research Papers
1916 words (5.5 pages)

Therapeutic Use of Humor Description Essay

- The therapeutic use of humor can be loosely defined as any activities that use the positive emotional responses associated with humor, smiling and laughter to specifically benefit one or more clients’ social, emotional, physical, cognitive or wellness domains. Using humor, therapeutically, involves establishing specific desired outcomes for a client which are facilitated by the use of humor and related techniques. Dattilo & McKenney, (2011) define the therapeutic use of humor when “specialists and others use humor in practice, they play for it to lead to specific therapeutic outcomes”....   [tags: humor, therapeutic recreation, clowns]

Research Papers
1100 words (3.1 pages)

Witty Humor Essay examples

- I am not funny. If you were to ask my friends, they would inform you that I am only funny when I am not trying to be, as in the times when I trip and fall (which happens more often than I would like) or perform some other unintentional folly. If you were to ask someone else who doesn’t know me well, I am certain that “awkward” or “quiet” would be the words chosen to describe me far more often than “hilarious”. When I do try to be funny, I am generally aware that my jokes are bad; I rely on corniness and silly mannerisms rather than wit to elicit laughter....   [tags: Humor ]

Research Papers
1959 words (5.6 pages)

Sigmund Freud and Everyday Use Essay

- Sigmund Freud and Everyday Use Sigmund Freud is best known for his development and use of psychoanalysis. The theory of psychoanalysis focuses on the concept of how our unconscious thoughts, feelings, and emotions play an active role in our daily lives. The id, ego, and superego are the three mental zones that encompass our psyche. Each zone has a specific function: The id functions on the pleasure principle; the ego on the protection of the individual; and the superego on protection of society....   [tags: Everyday Use essays]

Free Essays
851 words (2.4 pages)

Humor As A Type Of Social Interaction Essay

- ... But then the Lord God said, “Wait, what if I make it a sort of rosy, sunset-at-the-beach, filtered half-light, so that everything else that I design will look younger?” from Paul Rudnick’s story “Intelligent Design” (Rudnick, Paul. Intelligent Design. 2005). made me laugh. However, the same phrase can be seen as an insult of God by a religious and conservative person. So, it is good for the author to pay attention to the audience mood, attitude and believes before making a joke, because based on it the author will get a specific type of response....   [tags: Comedy, Humor, Irony, Laughter]

Research Papers
834 words (2.4 pages)

Humor : A Sixth Sense Essay example

- Humor: A Sixth Sense Since I was a baby I was always known as the child with the golden smile. My parents always would say my smile would take me far. People often ask me why I am always so happy and I usually reply with a sarcastic remark like “because I didn 't swallow a doorknob today” or something along those lines; but the real reason is that I have a quality that not everybody has, a sense of humor. Humor has many definitions, but to me it is the ability to perceive and express something that is absurd or incongruous....   [tags: Laughter, Comedy, Humour, Humor]

Research Papers
1062 words (3 pages)

The Good Side Of Humor Essay

- David Smith English 211 Craig Sanders 03 December 2014 The Good Side to Humor “Why can’t you play Uno with a Mexican. Because they steal all the green cards” (Kickass Humor). Most people would find this joke funny, even a few Mexicans would find this funny. However, there will be some people that would take offense from this joke. Then again, it seems as though no matter what the case is there will always be critics. In some cases humor can be looked at as bad or a waste of time but there is a good side to humor....   [tags: Comedy, Humor, Joke, Defence mechanism]

Research Papers
2429 words (6.9 pages)

Understanding Concepts of Humor Essays

- A good way that people describe a society would have to be through satirical devices. Voltaire is one of those many authors that use humor through his book, Candide, in order to make fun of his society. This is satirical books depicts many different topics in a society. To begin with in the book Candide, the main character goes through a series of adventures and murders in order to preserve his love to Cunegonde. Then again Candide can’t go through all of this without his partner D.r Pangloss from the beginning of the book....   [tags: Society, Humor, Satirical Devices, Voltaire]

Research Papers
1489 words (4.3 pages)

Use of Symbols and Symbolism in Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven Essay

- Use of Symbols and Symbolism in Edgar Allen Poe's “The Raven” Literature would not be the same if the author didn’t take symbolism into account while writing the piece. One of the world’s best writer’s, Edgar Allen Poe, is a superb example of this representation that has intrigued mankind for centuries. Poe uses various forms of symbolism to play off the emotions of his readers. Using elements of nature, dread, superstition, and legend, Poe can create a world of trepidation in the minds of the readers; his poems and stories would not be the same without these elements....   [tags: Edgar Allen Poe The Raven]

Research Papers
687 words (2 pages)

Sigmund Freud Essay

- Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)      Sigmund Freud was born on May 6, 1856 in Freiberg (now Pribor, Czech Republic). Freud was educated at Vienna University. Then him and his family moved to Leipzig from the anti-Semitic riots. His ambition in his childhood had been a career in law but then he decided to be medical student before he entered to Vienna University in 1873. After this he desire to study natural science and to solve challenging problems that confronted contemporary scientist. In his three year at Vienna University Freud began his research in central nervous system in the physiological lab under the direction of German Physician Ernst Wilhelm Von Brucke....   [tags: Sigmund Freud]

Research Papers
974 words (2.8 pages)