Prompts for the Promptless: Thursday, March 7, 2013

Schadenfreude is pleasure derived from the misfortune of others.

Suggested Prompts:

  1. Share a picture of something that represents Schadenfreude to you

  2. List your 5 Favorite examples of Schadenfreude in entertainment (film, comedy, theatre, literature)

  3. Consider, develop, or discuss the role of Schadenfreude in human understanding

  4. Recount a story about Schadenfreude in your own life

  5. … or make up your own prompt related to the theme!

So, I was really struggling with this prompt, desperately looking around for a toe-hold on something so alien to my nature (we shall come back to that.)

Option 1 might be possible, #2 not so – I have no “favourite” examples, #3 a bit highbrow for these pages, #4 couldn’t think of anything, and #5 sent my mind blank

It would be a complete cop out to take the alternative option (Mudita) so what was I left with – a rant about slapstick comedy?

A seat on my high moral horse, with me pontificating about how dreadful it is to take pleasure in another’s pain…and how I would never, ever do that?


I looked back at the first option and remembered theatre masks  the sad and the happy mask, seem to me an ideal representation of our topic for today. Off I Googled…

Masks by ~Benersphere on deviantART

All the world’s a stage…

“I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano;
A stage where every man must play a part,
And mine a sad one.”

(The Merchant of Venice, Act I, Scene I)

While I was Googling for Theatre Masks, I got to thinking about that optical illusion – the face that looks happy one way up and sad when turned the other way, you know? Well my search terms must have been all wrong because I could not find an example – but I did find this:

(find out more about Peter Thompson’s “Thatcher Efffect”)

and I was reminded of how wonderful it was to see this:

and what a deep joy and great relief it was to see the evil old bitch go.

So, I am capable of Schadenfreude after all. Perhaps we all are – and some of us are just waiting the opportunity to dance on a grave.

Shall we now discuss Cognitive Dissonance?


  1. March 8, 2013

    Haha! Cognitive dissonance is one of my favorite concepts, too– I think it’s built into Schadenfreude in most cases. 🙂 This one made me giggle, 🙂 Thanks for participating in Prompts for the Promptless!

  2. […] possible:   /  TheImaginator: Mudita- Food for Thought /  AlienRedQueen- The Cycle   /  The Daily Dilly Dally – Pratfall  /  ReviewerRose- Schadenfreude  /  OneStarvingActivist- The Army of Unanticipated Motion  […]

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