This thesis examines the Dias Gomes' play turned telenovela, O Bem-Amado, to demonstrate the use of satire and dark humor to make political commentary during the tumultuous sociopolitical era in Brazil from the early 1960s through the late-1970s. This era in Brazil is characterized by the overthrow of the leftist democratically elected civilian government by a corporate-backed hardline military dictatorship in the early part of 1964, which lasts for approximately 20 years. The result of this authoritative military rule causes many artists and intellectuals that oppose the dictatorship's repression to flee into exile abroad or adapt to the changing sociopolitical environment. Those who are not forced into exile begin to procure and find new avenues to express their dissatisfaction with the lack of free political expression. Dias Gomes becomes an accomplished playwright during the late 1950s and 1960s and uses the stage to make sociopolitical commentary and criticism. However by the late 1960s his pieces are continually being censored by the regime. At this time the television soap opera has become immensely popular in the country and the writer receives an invitation by an old colleague to begin writing telenovelas. Through this invitation, the playwright continues to make political commentary through his ability to portray the authentic Brazilian social experience. O Bem- Amado stands out as one of these authentic Brazilian portrayals of a corrupt Northeast Brazilian mayor that does anything to protect his political image. Dias Gomes employs dark humor and satire to point out the follies of the old politician, while at the same time he critiques corrupt authoritarian governments in general. This satiric humor proves to be the right aesthetic to get by the censors of the then authoritarian military regime and make public his sociopolitical criticisms.



College and Department

Humanities; Spanish and Portuguese



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satire, dark humor, political criticism, military dictatorship, Alfredo Dias Gomes, O Bem-Amado