Early Modern Jokes on Fearing Soldiers

  • Johan Verberckmoes
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Emotions book series (Palgrave Studies in the History of Emotions)


In early modern jests on soldiers, fear of the battlefield is an underlying motive. Contrary to reality, in which soldiers were always part of a group, in the jests the soldiers are individuals. They act foolishly, drink, instil fear in peasants and are always ready to run away in the face of danger. Puns play on that fear. In other jests soldiers are wittily assessing battlefield situations and in the process, inversely or not, demonstrate their composure and firmness as good soldiers. The paper argues that in an attachment perspective on humour, the jests bring the unspoken fear of the battlefield into the open for all to laugh at.


Eighteenth Century Seventeenth Century Early Modern Period Bryn Mawr Emotional Community 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johan Verberckmoes
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LouvainLouvainBelgium

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