Difference Between Comedy and Drama

Comedy and drama are two types of works, which present important differences in terms of the style of the author and the literary current to which they belong. Both genres were formed in ancient Greek theater more than 2,500 years ago.

These genres or styles are contrasting and in some cases may present subgenres. Currently, these have been taken from the theater to cinematographic or television works, which has given them greater popularity in the age of telecommunications.

In view of the above, it is in our interest to show the characteristics of comedy and drama to establish, consequently, the basic differences that exist between them.


Comedy is a subgenre of drama in which conflicts between characters are presented lightly and around ordinary characters.

Two main types of comedy are distinguished, high comedy, which consists of the satire that criticizes life and on the other hand, low comedy, which introduces issues such as mistaken identity and misunderstandings into the plot to create humorous situations.

In the same order of ideas, the purpose of comedy is to provoke laughter in the viewer through the representation of everyday scenes and with light, natural characters of medium to low social status.

Likewise, among some characteristics of comedy that we can find is that the characters are popular, taken from real life, from lower social classes or from government spheres. This seeks to ridicule the behavior of public figures, makes them laugh, correct vices, freely express ideas, among others. In the same way, regarding the theme, it generally presents ridiculous, absurd and vulgar facts. He proposes honesty and harmony as a solution and also presents an ingenious, comical, simple and sometimes vulgar and even coarse language.


A drama is a theatrical genre or fact in which a conflict develops between one or more characters, who are immersed in a specific situation. There are two subgenres of drama, tragedy and comedy. Likewise, the drama in any of its subgenres has different types of works according to its characteristics, among them are mentioned:

  • Historical drama : reflects historical episodes or processes.
  • Liturgical drama : reflects sacramental acts.
  • Lyrical drama : they are based on the depth of the text.
  • Social drama: it is part of the social struggle and issues of social interest.
  • Drama of passion: they are works related to love.
  • Abstract drama: does not follow the logic of actions.

On the other hand, among the fundamental characteristics of the drama we have that the characters are not always popular, since they are generally historical, literary and very complex. You can present the events in a comic or fateful way and also the theme has greater consistency in the story told. This is because their facts are more objective and finally, the language can be formal or colloquial with expressions of lofty thoughts.

As can be seen, there are important differences between comedy and drama, which are indicated in the following table:

Comedy Drama
Comedy is a subgenre of drama. Drama is a literary theatrical genre.
The purpose is to make people laugh, as well as entertain and generate positive attitude changes. The purpose is to generate reflection in people from everyday situations.
Use simple, colloquial, vulgar and even coarse language. Use a colloquial or formal language depending on the type of work.
The characters are usually low class, as well as light and ordinary. The characters are usually historical, literary and complex.
The comedy makes a humorous reflection on different facts. The drama makes a real reflection on different facts and situations.

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