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

Spring 2005

T C 357 • Comedy, Ancient and Modern—W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
41090 MWF
10:00 AM-11:00 AM
CRD 007B
Moore

Course Description

Our plan is to read, talk about, and write about comic plays—both from ancient Greece and Rome and from various modern nations. Our emphasis will be three-fold: 1. What is the nature of dramatic comedy? How does it differ from and relate to more “serious” theatrical forms, such as tragedy and melodrama? What is it that makes plays funny? 2. How has dramatic comedy developed over time? What are the different types of dramatic comedy, and how do they differ from one another? How have modern comic playwrights responded to the traditions begun by their ancient predecessors? 3. How does comedy relate to society? 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? What happens when plays written for one society are adapted for another? The course will conducted as a seminar: early in the semester, each student will choose an element of comedy he or she finds especially interesting. Students will use these “specialties” to write papers and contribute to class discussion throughout the semester.

About the Professor Tim Moore holds degrees from Millersville University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has published books on the Roman authors Livy and Plautus, and a translation of one of Terence's plays. He enjoys bicycling, hiking, and swimming. His three greatest loves, however, are dramatic comedy, vocal music, and things Roman. He has had the incredible good fortune to be able to combine these passions in his current research project, a book on the role of music in ancient Roman comic theater.

Grading Policy

This course contains a substantial writing component. Grading will be based on two short writing assignments (1 page and 5-7 pages), a research paper (20-25 pages), and class participation (including contributions to class discussion, presentations, reports to be assigned as the class progresses, and—if deemed necessary—announced and unannounced quizzes): 1-page paper: 5% 5-7 page paper: 10% Draft of research paper: 25% Final version of research paper: 35% Class participation: 25%

Texts

Course packet Aristophanes; The Clouds, The Birds, Lysistrata, The Frogs Beaumarchais, The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro Susanna Centlivre, A Bold Stroke for a Wife William Schwenck Gilbert, The Mikado Nikolai Gogol, The Inspector General Oliver Goldsmith, She Stoops to Conquer Menander, Plays and Fragments Molière, The Bourgeois Gentleman Plautus and Terence, Five Comedies 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

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