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David Birdsong, Chair 201 W 21ST STREET STOP B7600, HRH 2.114A, AUSTIN, TX 78712 • 512-471-5531

Fall 2009

FR 356 • Sex & Power Plays in 17th Century Theatre

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
36995 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
GAR 2.124

Course Description

Sex and Power Plays in 17th century Theater

In this course we shall encounter the classic greats: Corneille, Moliere, Racine, Marivaux and Beaumarchais. We shall also encounter various types of theater comedies, tragedies, tragicomedies, opera and ballet reflecting the human condition and the age. 17th and 18th Century French theater showed the power, interplay and intertwining of sexual desire, feminist outrage, and political intrigue. We shall see too the art of the repartee and savage wit. Moliere knows how to deliver a witty insult: --Say what's wrong with that cheeky fellow carrying that big enema bag. --Oh nothing, he's just not use to talking to faces! We shall show films of Comedie Francaise productions of all the plays and other treatments of this most important medium in France; 17th & 18th century theater in all its expressions, gestures, lazzi, costumes, lighting, music, ballet, For the past 500 years all Europe adopted and adapted these plays from Sheridan's The School for Scandal in London to Griboyedev's Woe for Wit in Russia! We shall study the origins of French classical French theater from Euripides through the 17th and 18th century and its inheritors in the 20th. Since the 17th Century French theater has taken Europe by storm! A front row seat awaits you!

Week I: Introduction: Beaumarchais, Le Barbier de Seville Week 2: Beaumarchais, Le Barbier de Seville Week 3: Beaumarchais, Le Barbier de Seville and Rossini's adaptation! Week 4: Corneille, Le Cid [extra, Le Roi Dance-Louis 14th and the ballet de cour] Week 5: Corneille, Le Cid Week 6: The Medea Matter from Euripides & Seneca Week 7: Corneille, Médée anad Cherubini's adaptation Week 8: Anouilh's Médée and ballet, Midterm Week 9: Racine; Phedre Week 10: Racine, Phedre and Quinault and Lully's Persée Week 11: Moliere, Les Femmes Savantes Week 12: Moliere, Le Malade Imaginaire Week 13: Marivaux,Les Fausses Confidences Week 14: Rameau, Castor et Pollux, Thanksgiving Week 15: Marivaux, L'Epreuve, La Dispute, Conclusion

Grading Policy

Midterm: 25%
Class Presentation 15%
6 page paper essay 20%
Final or expanded essay 40%


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