Chapter 2 – Quotesheet

“it should be an imitation of events that evoke fear and pity, since that is the distinctive feature of this kind of imitation. So it is clear first of all that decent men should not be seen undergoing a change from good fortune to bad fortune — this does not evoke fear or pity, but disgust. Nor should depraved people be seen undergoing a change from bad fortune to good fortune — this is the least tragic of all: it has none of the right effects, since it is neither agreeable, nor does it evoke pity or fear. Nor again should a very wicked person fall from good fortune to bad fortune […]”

Aristotle, Poetics, trans. and ed. Malcolm Heath (London: Penguin, 1996), pp. 20-1 [my emphasis]

“The ever-present possibility of slipping on an olive is a condition of being embodied, something we all have to learn to live with. Embodiment, in this sense, suggests nothing more, or less, than the fact of having, or being, a body.”

Alex Clayton, The Body in Hollywood Slapstick (London: McFarland & Company, Inc, 2007) p. 13

“The soul imparts a portion of its winged lightness to the body it animates: […] the immateriality which thus passes into matter is what is called gracefulness. Matter, however, is obstinate and resists. It draws to itself the ever-alert activity of this higher principle, would fain convert it to its own inertia and cause it to revert to mere automatism.”

Henri Bergson, ‘Laughter’, first published in French 1900; taken in English from Comedy ed. Wylie Sypher (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986) pp. 61-190, p. 78

“angled at the hips, bent forward or back, arse or genitals out, knees bent, twists to the shoulders. The angles tend to be off the vertical, spines curved, shoulders rarely horizontal; the centre of gravity has to be low enough to allow bent knee postures.”

Simon Shepherd, Theatre, Body and Pleasure (London: Routledge, 2006) p. 46

^ (sample comments on ‘Michael Gove falls over) ^

YOUTUBE: ‘Michael Gove falls over’

YOUTUBE: ‘Michael Gove falls over-and-over-and-over (and over)’

YOUTUBE: ’10 Minutes of Gove Falling (Eminem Remix)’

“The best part is when he glances towards the cameras with a look of absolute fury, like the veil of his public image was snatched away for a brief unexpected moment, revealing the true malice underneath, before he catches himself and puts the facade back on, all smiles.”

‘Ben Willock’, comment on ‘Michael Gove falls over’

Antony: I am dying, Egypt, dying. Only 

I here importune death awhile until

Of many thousand kisses the poor last

I lay upon thy lips.

Cleopatra: I dare not, dear.

Dear my lord, pardon. I dare not

Lest I be taken. 


But come, come Antony —

Help me, my women — we must draw thee up.

Assist, good friends! [They begin lifting.]

Antony: O quick, or I am gone!

Cleopatra: Here’s sport indeed! How heavy weighs my lord!

Our strength is all gone into heaviness;

That makes the weight. 

Antony and Cleopatra, 4.15.19-35

Antony: Sometime we see a cloud that’s dragonish,

A vapour sometime like a bear or lion,

A towered citadel, a pendent rock,

A forked mountain, or blue promontory

With trees upon’t that nod unto the world

And mock our eyes with air. Thou hast seen these signs?

They are black vesper’s pageants.

Eros: Ay, my lord.

Antony: That which is now a horse, even with a thought

The rack dislimns and makes it indistinct

As water is in water.

Eros: It does, my lord.

Antony: My good knave Eros, now thy captain is

Even such a body. Here I am Antony,

Yet cannot hold this visible shape, my knave.

Antony and Cleopatra,4.14.1-14

Antony: I will be

A bridegroom in my death and run into’t

As to a lover’s bed. Come, then, and Eros,

Thy master dies thy scholar; to do thus

I learned of thee. [He falls on his sword.] How, not dead? Not dead?

The guard, ho! Oh, dispatch me!

Antony and Cleopatra, 4.14.99-104

Othello: And say, besides, that in Aleppo once,

Where a malignant and a turbaned Turk

Beat a Venetian and traduced the state,

I took by th’throat the circumcised dog

And smote him thus. [He stabs himself.]

Othello, 5.2.345-9

Edgar: Gone, sir; farewell.

And yet I know not how conceit may rob

The treasury of life when life itself

Yields to the theft. Had he been where he thought,

By this had thought been past. Alive or dead?

Ho, you, sir! Friend, hear you, sir? Speak! –

Thus might he pass indeed. Yet he revives.

What are you, sir?

Gloucester: Away and let me die.

Edgar: Hadst thou been aught but gossamer, feathers, air,

So many fathom down precipitating,

Thou’dst shivered like an egg; but thou dost breathe,

Hast heavy substance, bleed’st not, speak’st, art sound.

Ten masts at each make not the altitude

Which thou hast perpendicularly fell.

Thy life’s a miracle. Speak yet again.

Gloucester: But have I fallen, or no?

King Lear, 4.6.41-56

“Why didn’t he hit his head and die? Disappointed…”

Olly Willers’, comment on ‘Michael Gove falls over’

“Should have hit his head and died”

‘Jordan’, comment on ‘Michael Gove falls over’

“I wish there had been a rope around his neck as he went down.”

‘salvadormarley’, comment on ‘Michael Gove falls over’

I would really like them all to suffer a tragic accident that leaves them either dead or disabled. Be funnier if they were disabled and had to spend all their money on legal fees, then they’d need to claim benefits lols.

‘sod-off tax-dodging gits’, comment on ‘Michael Gove falls over’