Humor and intersemiosis in films: Subtitling Asterix and Obelix

By: Loukia Kostopoulou


Volume: 06
Issue: 01:2020
ISSN: 2459-2943
DOI: 10.18680/hss.2020.0009
Pages: 185-202
Lic.: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
incongruity theory
Asterix and Obelix
audiovisual translation



Humor has long been the subject of research by scholars coming from different disciplines and fields. Raskin (1985) classified humor theories into three main categories: the incongruity theories, the hostility theories, and the release theories. This paper, drawing on the theory of incongruity, aims to investigate the interplay of verbal and nonverbal humor in audiovisual contexts. The research involves examining selected humorous scenes from the French film, Astérix aux Jeux Olympiques (2008), and its subtitled version in Greek. Humor in the Asterix and Obelix films is multifaceted. As in the case of the initial comic series, the film reproduces instances of double-layered humor; humor seems to work on two levels. On the surface level, it targets a broad audience, including children and adolescents. On a deeper level, it is constructed to imply a hidden innuendo or secondary layer intended for a more culturally embedded audience (Gavriilidou and Tsakona 2004-2005). Gavriilidou and Tsakona (2004-2005) note that “the extraordinary and unconventional portrayal of characters and their settings as well as the deviation from a balanced and canonical use of two semiotic codes, language and image, creates humor.” This same trait is reproduced in the film. The analysis will be based on semiotic systems’ synergy and multimodal film analysis of selected scenes from the original.


Download full text: PDF

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: seo services | Thanks to seo company, web designer and internet marketing company