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Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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"Monty Python and the Holy Grail" is a satiric comedy about the quest of King Arthur. The movie starts out with Arthur, King of the Britons, looking for knights to sit with him at Camelot. He finds many knights including Sir Galahad the pure, Sir Lancelot the brave, the quiet Sir Bedevere, and Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-as-Sir Lancelot. Through satire and parody of certain events in history (witch trials, the black plague) they find Camelot, but after literally a quick song and dance they decide that they do not want to go there. While walking away, God (who seems to be grumpy) come to them from a cloud and tells them to find the Holy Grail. They agree and begin their search. While they search for the Grail, scenes of the knight's tales appear and the reasons behind their names. Throughout their search, they meet interesting people and knights along the way. Most of the characters die; some through a killer rabbit (which they defeat with the holy hand grenade), others from not answering a question right from the bridge of Death, or die some other ridiculous way. In the end, King Arthur and Sir Bedevere are left and find the Castle Arrrghhh where the Holy Grail is. They are met by some French soldiers who taunted them earlier in the film and were not able to get into the castle. The movie ends with both King Arthur and Sir Bedevere being arrested for killing a real-life man who was a historian.

In the movie, the three main types of comedy I recognized were farce, parody, and satire. Farce is comedy designed to provoke the audience into simple, hearty laughter and often uses highly exaggerated or caricatured character types and puts them into improbable and ludicrous situations. It also makes use of broad verbal humor and physical horseplay. Some examples of farce in the movie are:

Ð'* In the beginning of the movie, you hear the sound of music and horses. However, it turns out that it was not horses at all; it was the sound of King Arthur's squire pounding two coconut halves together to make the sound of horses galloping. They then go on to confront two soldiers at the castle gates o invite their lord to be apart of the round table .they approach a castle and are quickly confronted by soldiers on top of the castle walls. The soldiers go on to question about their mode of transportation. King Arthur declares he rode on horses through the blistering winter. One of the soldiers protest and state the obvious: they were just banging coconut halves together, and the fact that coconuts come from a tropical climate, so he could not have gotten it in the blistering winter. King Arthur goes on to explain that a swallow must have carried it. The soldier then offers a rebuttal based on proportion and types of birds. The comedic affect was delivered by the ridiculousness of the situation, the repetition of the soldier's persistence the fact that they were actually pretending to ride horses by hitting coconuts together.

Ð'* In another scene, King Arthur is confronted by Lancelot and not allowed to pass. They began to fight and King Arthur severs Lancelot's arm off. Only for Lancelot to say, "It is just a scratch." King Arthur thinks that Lancelot will all it quits, but he persists, "I've had worse." They continue their brawl, only for Arthur to slice off Lancelot's other arm. He still insists on fighting. The comedic affect of this scene was delivered by the irrationality of Lancelot's determination to continue fighting despite his severe injuries.

Ð'* In another scene, King Arthur and his knights try to storm Camelot but are driven away by their enemies are heaving farm animals at them. They brought a new meaning to raining cats and dogs. The comedic affect was delivered by the illogicality of someone throwing animals to defend themselves. It was also ironic that they were not throwing arrow or spears.

Satire is a kind of writing that ridicules human weaknesses, vice, or folly in order to bring about social reform. Satires often try to persuade readers to do or believe something by showing opposite view as absurd or vicious and inhumane.

Some examples of satire in the movie are:

Ð'* There is a scene where a guy is walking around with a wheel barrel full of dead people.



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