Lecture Outlines

Your guide to the main topics covered in class….

Date Lecture
Sept 10-15:
The Frogs
1. Context for the Frogs

a. Aristophanes and Ancient Greek Drama
b. Theatrical Context
c. Historical/Political Context

2. Group Exercise: Varieties of Humour in The Frogs
3. Parody & Satire
4. The Parabasis (and contemporary examples…)
5. Audience Pre-knowledge: Important?

Sept 17-22:
Miles Gloriosus
1. Group Exercise: Varieties of Humour in Miles Gloriosus
–Q1: How do the following categories operate in Miles Gloriosus;
–Q2: Compare how these categories of humour are used in MG to The Frogs

Categories: Master-Slave relationship; Physical Humour; Mistaken Identity; Overall function or place of Satire

2. Context for Roman Comedy (shift from concerns of Greek Old Comedy to Greek New Comedy/Roman Comedy)
3. Uses of Direct Address to the Audience:

a. Asides
b. Palaestrio’s Plan (plot summary)
c. Running Commentary
d. Periplectomenus on morals and manners (advice to audience)

4. Comedy as a Genre:

– Aristotle on Comedy
– Elements of Comedy: Character, Plot, Audience

Sept 24:
Scala scenario
1. Studying Commedia dell’arte
2. Commedia as Comedy:

– Character
– Plot (common plot devices)
– Audience (metatheatre)

Oct 1, 6, 8:
Tragedy/The Oresteia
1. Tragedy in Contemporary Usage/Definitions
2. Aristotle on Tragedy
3. Contemporary Example?
4. Hegel on Tragedy:

a. conflicting principles
b. Antigone example
c. historical dialectic

5. Nietzsche on Tragedy
6. Elements of Genre

a. character (tragic hero(ine) and hamartia; chorus)
b. plot (causality, peripeteia, anagnorisi)
c. audience

7. Major themes (justice, old gods to new gods, fate vs. human agency)

Oct 15:
1. Spiritual Systems/Religion/Death
2. Medieval Drama Context

a. allegory
b. lessons (individual and universal)

3. Tragedy? (tragic figure/hamartia; catharsis/purgation)

Oct 20:
1. Classical Japanese theatre – context
2. Noh Drama

a. Philosophy/Spirituality
b. Jo-Ha-Kyu
c. ‘Character’ Types
d. ‘Plot’ Structure

3. Performance Style

a. Stylization
b. Symbolism
c. Simplicity

4. Matsukaze:

a. chorus, Yukihira connection
b. Tragedy comparisons

Oct 27:
1. Medieval Context

a. Martyrdom Legend Source Material
b. Medieval view of women

2. Questions of Genre

a. episodes – comedy or tragedy
b. madness, suffering
c. politics and the domestic

3. Terence and Hrotsvitha
4. The Body on Stage

a. The body and genre
b. The body and desire/power
c. The body and torture

Nov 3 &5:
As You Like It
1. Pastoral Mode

a. ideal human relationships
b. focus on leisure
c. distrust of money
d. communion with nature

2. “Green World”

a. structure of Shakespearian comedy
b. rebirth and renewal
c. maternal aspect

3. Exercise 1: Metatheatricality in Rosalind and Orlando’s first forest meeting
4. Exercise 2: Character knowledge: The Orlando-Ganymede Game
5. Judith Butler: Gender as Performance:

a. breakdown of binaries and causal continuum of sex–>gender–>desire
b. social convention
c. hegemony
d. gender: ‘identity constituted through a stylised repetition of acts’
e. Gender Performance in AYLI: essential or performative?

Nov 10 & 12:
1. Neoclassical Period (1550-1789)
2. Neoclassicism in Literature (5 attributes)
3. Tartuffe: Comedy or Tragedy? (character, plot, audience)
4. Operations of Satire in Tartuffe:

a. reversal of expected social roles
b. sarcasm: saying one thing, meaning another
c. hypocrisy: saying one thing, doing another

Nov 17:
Life is a Dream
1. Spiritual ideologies/play comparisons

a. Christian hagiography (compare Everyman)
b. Buddhism (compare Matsukaze)

2. Tragedy: Generic Self Consciousness? (compare Oresteia)
3. Gender and Cross Dressing (essentialism vs. gender performance)
4. Exam Prep Exercise: make your own question!

Nov 19:
Life is a Dream cont.
(guest lecturer: Jenn Stephenson)
Metatheatre in LIAD (details TA)