The philosophy of comedy in the works of Franz Kafka

Abstract

Traditionally, much of the research surrounding Franz Kafka's works has focused on the more serious issues such as the existential aspects --- alienation, angst, or anxiety and anticipation of death. This does not preclude that some others have written on the "lighter" aspects of Kafka's writing, that is, comedy and humor. Because the comedic in Kafka's work is so apparent, I felt it to be a plausible intent to explore the relationship between the more serious aspects and the comedic. It seems that humor and comedy are not the opposite of seriousness, but ways of checking and challenging values and beliefs. Comedy is yet another way to learn; it is a new perspective that often is an aesthetic experience. Kafka's three major works, "The Metamorphosis," The Trial, and The Castle, provide many instances of the comedic. Central to each work is the idea of the "comedic hero" on a journey. With these three works and with the earlier mentioned ideas, my endeavor is to inquire and explore the comedic moments with a special emphasis on revealing how the heroes are entirely unable to eradicate their own misfortune

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