Table of Contents:
In Georg Büchner´s drama Danton´s Tod there appear many comic moments. A distinguishing feature of the drama is the use of the various types of comic which play an important role in the literary treatment of very serious topics. Both the main characters of the drama and the thematic core receive their clear contours through the comic.
The comic element is a communicative medium with an extensive critical competence. This research is concentrated on what is comic in the drama and in which context of meaning each comic moment appears. The topics are divided into five parts: theatricality, virtue, violence, death and eros.
The means of comic effects contribute to the exposure of the problematic aspects of the dramatic characters and their thoughts. Thus, the figures are seriously discredited and their views and convictions are distanced and relativized. Neither Danton nor Robespierre or other revolutionaries embody the spirit of Büchner. The people to whom the fruits of the revolution should belong come also in for criticism.
The necessity and the impossibility of the revolution are the main pillars on which the suspense of the drama is based. The comic illuminates the tragic side of the event, i.e. the impossibility of revolutionary change. In this way the comic touches the tragic.
Many other elements that are not directly connected with the revolution are mixed into the drama and make the entire play so rich in themes that the work is more than just a political didactic play. The comic makes the drama more diverse, exciting and, despite its great tragedy, even more entertaining.