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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In theatre, a farce is a comedy which aims at entertaining the audience by means of unlikely, extravagant, and improbable situations, disguise and mistaken identity, verbal humour of varying degrees of sophistication, which may include word play, and a fast-paced plot whose speed usually increases, culminating in an ending which often involves an elaborate chase scene. Farces are often highly incomprehensible plot-wise (due to the large number of plot twists and random events that often occur), but viewers are encouraged to try not to follow the plot in order to not become confused and overwhelmed. Farce is also characterized by physical humor, the use of deliberate absurdity or nonsense, and broadly stylized performances. Farces have been written for the stage and film.

Japan has a centuries-old tradition of farce plays called Kyōgen. These plays are performed as comic relief during the long, serious Noh plays.


From Middle English farcen, from Old French farsir, farcir, from Latin farcire (“to cram, stuff”).


farce (countable and uncountable; plural farces)

  1. (uncountable) A style of humor marked by broad improbabilities with little regard to regularity or method; compare sarcasm
  2. (countable) A motion picture or play featuring this style of humor. The farce that we saw last night had us laughing and shaking our heads at the same time.
  1. (uncountable) A situation abounding with ludicrous incidents The first month of labor negotiations was a farce.
  1. (uncountable) A ridiculous or empty show The political arena is a mere farce, with all sorts of fools trying to grab power.

Derived terms



From farce + -ic-al, after comical, etc.


farcical (comparative more farcical, superlative most farcical)

  1. resembling a farce; ludicrous; absurd The actions of politicians in office are a farcical joke to most of their constituents.


  1. ^ Teresa Murjas (2007). "Zapolska, Gabriela: The Morality of Mrs. Dulska". The University of Chicago Press Books. Retrieved 2007-11-26.
  2. ^ August Grodzicki, "Bardzo polska tragikomedia." Życie Warszawy nr 5; 07-01-1976

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