A fairly general perception of John Calvin is that of a gloomy
and even cheerless person. In many publications on his life
and on his outlook on life, in particular, there is frequently
nothing or hardly anything to be found on his humour and
bonhomie. The author argues that there are many indications
in his writings that show another side of this remarkable
man. It is obvious that his contemporary colleagues often
found him in a jovial mood, while his writings were certainly
not without humour and even jest. It must be borne in mind
that the humour of every period in history has its own kind
of character. One should not necessarily view sixteenthcentury
humour in terms of the twenty-first-century views.
In a lighter mood, Calvin frequently expressed himself in
various figures of speech, particularly metaphor and irony,
which often have a hint of sarcasm.