Conclusion

To sum up. In Part One the main themes of power, humour, and the Marx Brothers were put into context. Power relations were shown to be present throughout social life, and here emphasis was given to their place in institutions and how they shaped and in turn were shaped by dominant discourse.

Humour was shown to be a complex phenomenon involving language, mind, and society in such a fine blend that the wide variety of theories on the subject are often in conflict. However, common to them all, it would seem, is the notion of incongruity. This feature is certainly abundant in the works of the Marx Brothers, each of whom has special skills for its expression, and it is hoped that the review of their linguistic resources showed this.

Part Two was structured specifically to demonstrate these skills by setting up a survey or model of a specific institution - the standard language and common sense, medicine, and law - and then selecting corresponding extracts from the Marx Brothers’ works to show how the dominant discourse in these areas was deliberately disturbed by the humorous discourse of the Marx Brothers with the aim of challenging the prevailing class relations. It is hoped that this demonstration also revealed that the works of the Marx Brothers are an extremely rich source for linguists.

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