La Farce du Chaudronnier
La Farce du Chaudronnier is another farce that takes as its subject a marital dispute, but frames it as a battle of silence. A wife and her husband are arguing and he claims that she can't keep her mouth shut. As a result, she devises a game in which they must both stay silent and the first to speak must buy a kettle of soup. During the process of this game, a Kettle Maker appears, intent on making the couple talk, which he does when the husband responds to the Kettle Maker fondling his wife. While it would seem to a reader that a game of silence is antithetical to a farce, the reader is forgetting that farces were equally based on physical humor as they were based on puns. The Kettle Maker dressing the husband up as a saint is equally comic as the quick witted spars between the couple. Farces do not necessarily have to run at a break neck speed, but performers can also take their time to draw out jokes that an audience finds particularly entertaining. It is sure that farces comprised a certain amount of improvisation on the part of the actors in order to react to the audience.
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M.A. French Literature Florida State University