Fielding’s Farces: Travestying the Historiosophical Discourse
Burlesque tragedy was reanimated at the end of the eighteenth century, complemented by everyday social and occupational satire. The genre was resumed in the farce plays Puss in Boots (Der gestiefelte Kater) and The Life and Death of Little Thomas (Leben und Taten des kleinen Thomas), written by Ludwig Tieck in the 1790s through 1810s, i.e. in the pre-Romantic era, when the source texts of famous fairytale plots, interpreted by Charles Perrault on stage, underwent a number of metamorphoses and transformations, finally presenting a whole in-built gallery of characters and a panorama of plots. Symbolically, Ludwig Tieck made Fielding – the author of the Tragedy of Tragedies about Tom Thumb – one of the central characters in his cycle of fairytale farce commentaries. Meanwhile, the methodology of blending scenes, quotes, figures, and texts into a farce did not need to be rediscovered. It could actually become a powerful tool, which Ludwig Tieck demonstrated skillfully.