—Figueroa-Dorrego & Larkin-Galiñanes 34
Although the two characters Antonius and Caesar speak for Cicero that humor cannot be instilled or imparted, Cicero speaks through Antonius that the appropriate use of humor can be inculcated and instructed. “[R]egard ought to be paid to personages, topics, and occasions, so that the jest should not detract from dignity” (lvi, 229). One should certainly stand off the limits of gravitas (dignity, decorum).
*Here the authors are quoting Jan Bremmer & Herman Roodenburg (“Introduction: Humour and History.” A Cultural History of Humour: From Antiquity to the Present Day. Eds. J. Bremmer and H. Roodenburg. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1997. 1-10.) to justify their observation that Cicero follows the footsteps of Aristotle and Theophrastus, and are quoting Fritz Graf (“Cicero, Plautus, and Roman Laughter.” A Cultural History of Humour: From Antiquity to the Present Day. Eds. J. Bremmer and H. Roodenburg. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1997. 29-39.) to explain that humour concerns public oratory.