Mishna: When someone has been thrown into a pit, and only his voice can be heard saying "Give my wife a divorce", whoever hears him may write a get (divorce letter) and give it to the wife.
The Gemara then goes into what I insist is a humorous discussion: What if the man's voice is being impersonated by a demon? When the observers saw a human form. Maybe the demon impersonated the human form, also? When they saw the form's shadow. Maybe the demon impersonated the shadow, also? Rabbi Hanina countered with by telling that his son Yonatan told him demons don't have shadows.
At which point one of the rabbis from the school of Rabbi Yishmael put an end to the fooling around, and reminded everyone that it's a serious subject: at a time of widespread persecution, it's necessary to stretch the rules in order not to have women stuck in uncertainty and legal limbo.
You can literally hear the jokers with the black humor - after all, they also know how bad things are, but refuse to be cowed by it; the last fellow is too serious for such things.
The next page adds another dimension to the dire situation and the rabbi's insitence on defining the law no matter how bad things are: in a discussion about how many men need to hear the wish of the husband in order to allow them to write a get, Rabbi Meir has an opinion which is then reinforced by the opinion of rabbi Hanina of Ono, even though he has to send it from his cell in a Roman jail, where he was awaiting execution for his part in the insurgency.
This thread began here.