Mortality, Momento Mori, and Memes: Joking About Death Is Nothing New

A significant portion of contemporary internet memes seem to trivialize and wish for death, often to the concerned bewilderment of older generations. Is using memes to discus death a new exercise, or are memes simply a the most recent in a long tradition of staving off the Grim Reaper with humor? Look at representations of Death in various cultures’ art and performance theater as a humorous or benign force or figure (memento mori paintings, the Grim Reaper, Beetlejuice, etc.) and compare them to modern memes which focus on death and dying.

  • This has the makings of a great topic but I worry it might be a bit too broad at the moment. Maybe you can condense it down and look at how death has been rationalised in pop culture through the use of humour and draw distinctions between conventional representation and memes. – Simon Malik 5 years ago

Want to write about Arts or other art forms?

Create writer account