Burlesque is a literary or dramatic work that ridicules a subject either by presenting a solemn subject in an undignified style or an inconsequential subject in a dignified style. The word derives from the Italian burlesco, which itself derives from the Italian burla – a joke, ridicule or mockery. Some of the most frequent subjects for burlesque were the plays of Shakespeare and grand opera. The dialogue was generally written in rhyming couplets, liberally peppered with bad puns.
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