The Farce


The Farce is a dramatic work designed solely to produce laughter. Originally a farce was an explanatory or additional matter introduced into the main play sometimes to increase its length. Slowly actors begin to use this as an occasion and thus it became a part of the play.

The Plot of the Farce:

In Farce no attempt is made at Fidelity to life. Its aim is merely to provide laughter. For this purpose, it employs funny incidents absurd characters, humorous situations, and witty dialogue. Farce does not aim at a realistic representation of things but provides caricature. The plot in a farce usually appears nonsensical, characters in the indulge in deception impersonations, and irrationalities. There are angry wives, helpless husbands, and funny old men indulged in the most unexpected activities. Serious and respectable people are drawn into the most undignified positions, grave and priggish persons are debunked. Most farce is centered around love affairs which themselves are caricatures. In the end, everybody comes out without any harm.

The elements of the Farce:

The elements of the farce can be seen even in the early English plays. Shakespeare’s ‘A midsummer night’s dream’ and ‘Twelfth Night’ are examples to show how farcical elements could be interspersed with comedy with great effect. Event tragedies had farcical scenes as we see in Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus.

Some Famous works of Farce:

As a separate form of entertainment, the farce came into vogue towards the close of the seventeenth century. The first popular farce was ‘The Rehearsal’ by the Duke of Buckingham. But The anti-sentimental comedy almost destroyed farce. But the anti-sentimental comedies of Sheridan and Goldsmith brought back farcical humor into English drama. Some of the scenes in Sheridan’s ‘The Rivals’ and most of the scenes in his “School for scandal” are enchantingly Farcical. Similarly in the play “She Stoops Conquer” by Goldsmith. In the Victorian period, the farce attained a sort of respectability. Farces such as ‘ The Private Secretary’ and ‘Charley’s Aunt’ were several times.

In modern times, the farce is an accepted form of dramatic entertainment. Most of the plays of Oscar Wilde and Bernard Shaw have farcical situations and dialogue. The farce requires unusual inventiveness, a craftsman, and a sense of humor on the part of the writer.

Most modern comic one-act plays tend to be farces. The purpose of such plays is only to give brief entertainment without malice and laughter without vulgarity. Modern one-act plays like ‘The Dear Departed’ are essentially farce designed to produce laughter.


The Farce is a famous literary form in earlier literature. In this form, most of the scenes from the plays and characters from the novels will have some comical and entertaining content. Which boosts up the audience’s mindset. These literary forms are used to length the drama in earlier periods. But, most of the audience loved this method and they often started to use it regularly in stage dramas. Farce is used merely for the entertainment of the audience. Even now, most of the writers include some comical scenes in their works to make the plot entertaining.

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