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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Fall 2009

T C 302 • Comedy, Ancient and Modern - W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
43710 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
MAI 220E

Course Description

In this course we will examine the nature of dramatic comedy and its role in society. We will read, discuss and write about comedies from ancient Greece and Rome and from various modern nations, paying particular attention to the following questions:
Do comic plays reinforce or challenge the preconceptions of their audiences? How have comic playwrights responded to issues such as class, gender, religion, and politics? Why does comedy have such power both to unite and to divide people?

Grading Policy

This course has a substantial writing component

Weekly journals (1 page each): 10%
4-6 page paper (must be rewritten for credit): 20%
10-15 page research paper (must be rewritten for credit): 40%
Three oral reports: 10%
Class participation: 20%


Aristophanes, The Clouds, The Birds, Lysistrata
Plato, Apology
Beaumarchais, The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro
Susanna Centlivre, A Bold Stroke for a Wife
Mary Chase, Harvey
William Congreve, The Way of the World
Eugene Ionesco, The Bald Soprano
Menander, The Grouch, The Samian Woman
Molière, The Bourgeois Gentleman, Tartuffe
Plautus, The Brothers Menaechmus, The Braggart Soldier
Terence, The Brothers, The Mother-in-Law
Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors
Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew
George Bernard Shaw, Arms and the Man
Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest
Selected Japanese Kyôgen comedies
Rodgers, Hart, and Abbott, The Boys From Syracuse
Gilbert and Sullivan, The Pirates of Penzance
Selections from comic theory of Freud, Frye, and Bentley

Films (to be watched outside of class):
Duck Soup
Some Like It Hot

A comic film new to the theaters when the course is taught.

About the Professor

Timothy Moore holds degrees from Millersville University and the University of North Carolina. He has published books on the Roman authors Livy and Plautus and numerous articles on ancient Roman literature, theater, and music. He has received a President's Associates Teaching Award at the University of Texas and fellowships to study in Rome, Berlin, and Freiburg, Germany. He is currently working on a book on music in ancient Roman comedy. Besides ancient literature, he is particularly interested in the history of theater, especially medieval Japanese comedy and the American musical. He enjoys singing, swimming, and bicycling.


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