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In cartoons because we know the characters are not

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shows up again in the next episode like nothing happened. In cartoons, because we know the characters are not real and because they do not look like real human beings, the violence can be disturbing and gruesome but it will not be taken as seriously. This is true even in Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot . When Lucky kicks Estragon in the leg, he is not seriously injured. He makes a big deal about it, claiming he is crippled and he will never walk again, but in reality he only has a bruise. This explanation of the humor in violence can be simplified to say that violence is only funny in a certain context. If you only watched a clip of someone being kicked in the leg or falling down without context it probably would not be funny. But once the context is added in, it changes the feeling of the event. Estragon's reaction to being kicked in the leg is funny and perhaps the person who fell was running and fell face first into a cake. The context is what makes the violence funny. Another explanation for why we sometimes enjoy violence is because we can live vicariously through the people committing the violence. If the act of violence is a superhero kicking the villains ass or watching karma finally catch up with someone who has been a jerk, it is going to be enjoyable to watch. While watching scenes like that, it allows to people to feel like they are the ones doling out the punishment. In Amphitryon , Mercury keeps smacking Sosia around and confusing him. The audience finds it funny and enjoyable because it is not something that happens in day to day life. The viewers are not allowed to go around hitting people that annoy them. They are pretending they are Mercury and are hitting around their own Sosias. Even though Sosia is not an antagonist in this play, there is still some satisfaction from seeing him pushed around a little. Similar to this is the idea of schadenfreude. Schadenfreude is a word that means happiness at
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the misfortune of others, which perfectly describes what laughing at violence is. An article in the New York Times cited several studies that proved the existence of schadenfreude (St. John). It has a lot to do with people receiving what they deserve, which starts with Social Comparison Theory. It is natural for people to compare themselves to others and natural to be envious if someone looks better off. If there is someone who has it all and barely worked for it, people are going to be much happier to see them crumble than someone who does not have as much or someone who worked hard for what they have.
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