Grotesque realism: Popular culture is based on the human body in its open aspect, connected to the world.
In grotesque realism the bodily element is deeply positive. It is presented not in a private, but as something universal. This is why all that is bodily becomes grandiose, exaggerated. The leading themes of these images of bodily life are fertility, growth and abundance.
The essential principle of grotesque realism is degradation, that is the lowering of all that is high, spiritual, ideal and abstract.
Degradation here means coming down to earth, the contact with earth as an element that swalows up and gives birth at the same time.
Medieval laughter: People made fun of the rituals and solemn ceremonies of the Church. It was a way to liberate themselves from the oppression of the powerful. Carnival was the occasion where the population used to dress up like well-known people from the upper classes (kings, queens, monks…) and have a laugh at them.
Laughter, which had been eliminated in the Middle Ages from official cult and ideology, made its unofficial but almost legal nest under the shelter of almost every feast. Therefore, every feast in addition to its official had yet another folk carnival part whose organizing principles were laughter and the material bodily lower stratum. This part of the feast had its own pattern, its own theme and imagery, its own ritual.
Lower and middle class cerics, schoolmen, students and members of corporation were the main participants in these folk meriments. But the medieval culture of folk humor actually belonged to all the people.