Public Performances Deriding, the Pseudo-Ruler. Between the Funny and Serious
The article is devoted to the analysis of episodes of public derision of the impostor Til Kolup, who proclaimed himself the emperor Frederick II in 1284-1285 II Staufen (1194-1250) in the Rhine lands of the German Empire - at a time when the former dynasty was ended, and the legitimacy of the new (Habsburg) was yet not indisputable. The author analyses the detailed evidences of two chronicles of the end of the 13 th - the first quarter of the 14 th century (Gesta Henrici Archiepiscopi
... hiepiscopi Trecerensis, Iohannis abbatis Victoriensis Liber centarum historicarum), introducing them into scientific use of our country The author explores how the laugh operates in the political discourse. The paper shows that the laugh in the dramatized performances in the market square of Cologne and Wetzlar accomplished various functions. Besides laughing and deriding, it served as a way of townsfolk's denial of their loyalty' to so-called emperor Frederick II and their oath of allegiance to their legal king at the same time. Therefore the laugh was a kind of symbolic communication of power and society, well understood by both sides. The attributes and sets ofcarnival (market square, townsfolk, a character of a fool king as a protagonist) were in fact incorporated in the "serious" discourse of politics from the space of humour and laugh. It became an instrument for representation the social andpolitical attitude of a social group. In summary, it was the figure of impostor that enabled uncovering the mechanism of the usage of laugh and his functions as a political language in the urban culture in the Middle Ages.