Aristotle presented m an not only as a political anim al but also as a laughing an im al. 1 These characteristics of m ankind are closely interconnected: Both of them stem from the sociable nature of the hum an being. Laughter is an aspect of hum an behaviour closely associated with m any realms of social life, a social phenom enon par excellence. T he French philosopher H enri Bergson aptly rem arked that, in order to understand laughter, we m ust examine it in its natural environm ent, which is society 2 I t may be justifiable to invert Bergson’s rem ark (or ra ther to complete it) and to assert that, in order to understand a certain society, it is im portan t to examine its laughter. T he purpose of this paper is to analyse the various aspects and functions of laughter in Spartan society.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 1989 Anton Powell.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Arts and Humanities