Comic Relief: Comic relief is when something entertaining or comical happens during an intense or serious situation. Comic relief  is meant to  provide emotional relief from stressful or high tension scenes. It can also be used to make dramatic actions even more intense by acting as a contrast to amplify the emotional impact. Often,  this literary device is used in tragedies or dramas.

Ex: “Fathers that wear rags /Do make their children blind./But fathers that bear bags/Shall see their children kind” - King Lear William Shakespear

An example of this literary device is in William Shakespeare's play King Lear.  During this time, King Lear is facing an extremely stressful conversation. In the middle of this dramatic scene, the “fool” steps in to tell a silly riddle. This provides comic relief from the intense situation at hand.

This is comic relief because the doctor told the other character that he is suffering from mental illness which is supposed to be serious, but the other character makes the funny conclusion that it is easy to fix the brain.


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Shakespeare, William, and Ian Pollock. King Lear. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal, 2006. Print.

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