Posse is a low, partial grossly form of comedy. The posse presents life-like as well as effective contents, which is often based on pointe-rich character and situation comics. The comic act is therefore above all to amuse. However, in principle it is not injurious, even if it is thoroughly permeated with acrid mockery. Ugly accidents and improbable exaggerations satisfy the spectator’s need for laughter.term
It is very probable that the term is due to the French bosse. This can be translated with hump, cusp, bump or relief. Consequently, Posse was originally described as ornamentation or accessory at cornices and memorials, or grotesquely joking figures at fountains. Here is also the connection to the stage, which presents strange, comic, some joking figures.
Note: In the following, we would like to present the characteristics of the posse and then present some examples and representatives, in order to elucidate the development and historical background.
Characteristics of the Posse
Overview: Features of the stage
The Posse is a stage as well as a special form of comedy. It also resembles the Commedia dell’arte, the Italian Stegreifkomedy; the fasting; the burlesque and the swing or the ancient Mimus, a derbcomic scene of everyday life.
It is distinguished by character and situation comics and is therefore intended to stimulate laughter by laughing presentations, which is characterized in part by sharp mockery.
Another characteristic feature is the high level of improvisation, which often took the form of an interlude for amusement. This partial, very fast improvisation served the purpose of amusement and amusement, but in the eighteenth century it was also a way of avoiding censorship, since texts were controlled and partly deleted before the performance.
At the center of the posse is in all its expressions a comic person, the Harlequin, Hanswurst or also Kasper, which is known to us from the Puppenspiel. This figure was the bearer of the comic, or the incarnation of what was mocked.
The characters of the play are usually simple people of everyday life, such as peasants, craftsmen or servants. Accordingly, the whole is opposed to the tragedies of the eighteenth century, which were mostly traded by nobles and higher-ranking people.
Linguistically, the Posse is also oriented towards the simple human being; it is based on the everyday language and everyday language, and is very understandable. It is thus written for those who were also primarily the audience of such performances.
In the play, there are often unlikely coincidences, ludicrous confusion, excessive exaggeration, and the whole thing is also characterized by harsh mockery, comic elements, and witty improvisations.
Note: The highest development of Posse is found in Vienna in the 17th and 18th century. There, the play was raised to the magic poem, which realized folks with elaborate stage technology. Here, beings of popular mythology arose and intervened in human relations, which led to a turning point (→ peripetia).
Well-known works and posse-writers
Ludwig Tiek (1773 – 1853)
The Twisted World (1798)
Johann Nestroy (1801 – 1862)
The evil spirit Lumpacivagabundus (1833)
He wants to make a jux (1842)
Judith and Holofernes (1849)
Zygmunt Krasiński (1812 – 1859)
Untold Comedy (1835)
Origin and development of the Posse
The first peculiarities of the popular comedy form were already found in the seventeenth century in the main and national action, a collective name for the plays in the middle of which was the Hanswurst, a derbcomic figure of the German-speaking Stegreifkomedy.
Nevertheless, there was the so-called satyr play in antiquity. This can certainly be understood as a primal form of the posse. The satyr play is a serene, liberating sequel, following a sequence of three tragedies performed at the tragic Agon of the Great Dionysia.
The poses, as they are nowadays, developed, however, from the fasting game of the 16th century and is also related to the Commedia dell’arte, the Italian Stegreifkomedy of the 16th to the 18th century. The figure of the case in the puppet play also contains essential elements of the poses. The puppet figure Kasper has been known in the German-speaking world since the end of the 18th century.
In the eighteenth century, the bustling stage developed into an elaborate show of illusions, with the text partially falling into the background. The antics of this time are based on stage illusions and sorcery, or act as a reminder of a person who does not fit into the social or divine order because of stupidity, dissatisfaction or presumption, and only after many examinations does he find his way back into the middle-class life ,
The highlights of the antics are the works of Johann Nestroy in the 19th century. Nestroy helped the widespread magics to a new image, gave her an intellectual touch, and in this way developed numerous parodistic and satirical antics. One of his most famous works of the day is The evil spirit Lumpacivagabundus (1833), which was positively evaluated by the criticism.
In the nineteenth century, the posse is almost always associated with singing, and is also interrupted by a concise couplet, a multi-haired, witty, ambiguous, political, or satirical song with a very catchy refrain. Furthermore, the stage can now contain dances and choirs, and in this form is increasingly transformed into a musical theater.
Short overview: The most important thing about posse at a glance
Poses are coarse and sometimes brutal representatives of comedy. This means that she is distinguished by a series of comely events and insane events, accompanied by simple and simple language. The Posse reminds in part even of the Clownerie, which is mainly due to the emphasis on pointenreicher Situationskomik.
In the course of the centuries, the posse transformed itself from a simple, funky stage to impressive stageillusion (magic poses) with fairies, ghosts and fairy tale designs, with more musical deposits being repertoire.
Note: Many of the one-time possessions traditions as well as the presented features are nowadays taken over by the cinema and the comedic film.