La farce du pâté et de la tarte
La Farce du Pâté et de la Tarte like many other farces of this period, relies on physical humour primarily in the form of beating people. The play follows two poor beggars who come to a pastry shop. The couple gives them nothing, but they hear the man tell his wife that he will be going out to dine, and that she should give the pâté he made to a valet. One of the beggars comes to take the pâté claiming to be the valet. This leads to the husband returning, enraged to find that his wife has given away the pâté. He beats her, and then the two beggars in turn for having eaten the pâté. These acts of physical comedy, though we may not find them as funny now, display the influence of commedia dell'arte on French farce of this period. We can see the creation of stock characters who are easily recognizable to an audience, with a list of phrases and actions typique to them, allowing actors to improvise within the form.
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M.A. French Literature Florida State University