May 28, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog, Volume 78 
    
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog, Volume 78 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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ENGL - 225. Comedy


3 credit(s)
This course will explore the comic impulse in a range of literary genres and may include classical Greek modes, the Shakespearian tradition, as well as modern and contemporary versions. It will consider “comedy” in both of its typical meanings: (1) as a literary genre in which conflicts are successfully resolved through acts of reconciliation and harmony, and (2) as humor. The course will investigate the sometimes paradoxical relation between these two definitions. Some forms of comedy may not seem to us particularly funny, yet fulfill the traditional generic requirement of ending well. Other instances of the comic contain elements that make us laugh, but the overall effect may be distressing or disharmonious. The class will also consider comedy in relation to its traditional generic foil, tragedy, discovering perhaps a surprising number of connections between these two presumably opposite modes. While some discussions will focus on what comedy offers us in terms of understanding - or enduring - the human condition, the course will also examine the cultural and historical dynamics of comedy, including issues of economics and class, gender and sexuality, as well as race and region. Authors may include Aristophanes, Shakespeare, Austen, Wilde, and Heller. A number of films may also be analyzed.

Attribute: (ATTR: ARTS, ENLR, LTTP)



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