French and Italian | Thèmes et perspectives littéraires
F375 | 11718 | Vantine, Peter

Topic: Héros et antihéros

We will focus specifically on the representation of such figures in
the theater and the novels of the 19th century, from romanticism to
realism and beyond. We will read two plays: Victor Hugo’s _Hernani_
(1830) and Alfred Jarry’s _Ubu roi_ (1896); and two novels:
Stendhal’s _Le Rouge et le noir_ (1830) and Guy de Maupassant’s _Bel-
ami_ (1885). We will also view theater or film versions of several of
the texts studied.

We will consider questions such as the following: What are the
essential qualities of a heroic figure? To what extent and in what
manner are such figures determined by their specific historical and
cultural contexts? What is the functions of a given hero or antihero
in a specific literary work? What thematic elements, rhetorical
techniques, and stylistic traits do authors exploit to represent or
subvert exceptional characters in their texts? How does one interpret
the meaning of a character whose status as heroic or antiheroic is

This course will continue to develop students’ skills in literary
analysis, as well as to further strengthen their oral and written
fluency in French, through close readings, engaged discussions and
written assignments. The final grade for the course will be based on
preparation for and participation in class, one oral presentation, a
mid-term exam, and one or two papers. Taught in French. Prerequisite
is F300 or equivalent. F375 fulfils A & H and CSB requirements.