Final Medicine ; and, Balance in Comic Theory : An Analysis of Character and Language in 'Final Medicine'

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours


School of Communications & Arts


Faculty of Education & Arts


This thesis consists of a short story entitled 'Final medicine' and an essay which examines how humour theory has influenced development of the comic work. 'Final Medicine' tells the story of Howard Millicent, whose wife has divorced him, whose job has broken him, and whose co-workers deride him at every opportunity. The bad news is he's dying. Now, with a mysterious terminal illness threatening to rot him whole, Howard's only hope rests on the manic specialist Fleance. But from greasy coffee houses to karaoke bars, Howard's last shot at life seems to delight more in torturing him than curing him. The essay explores what strategies for comedy writing can be gleaned from humour theory, examining philosophical perceptions of the tragic and the ludicrous, psychological models of humour, and classical comic archetypes in literature. It discusses how these principles are related to the elements of character and language, and analyses the ways in which they have been implemented by Robert Grant in a selection of his novels. Importantly, it outlines the challenges of balancing these elements, and illustrates how they have influenced my rationale through the process of composition.

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