Comparative Literature | Drama: The Enigmatic Guest
C311 | 28840 | A. Pao


3 cr
TR 2:30 pm -3:45 pm
Carries A&H Distribution Credit

A guest arrives and a drama is set in motion.   This is what happens
in tragedies, comedies, and other dramatic forms from ancient Greece
and Rome to modern Asia Europe, America and Africa.  The guests may
be invited and welcome or else surprise visitors whose presence is
highly undesirable; they may be imposing on the hospitality of an
individual, a family or an entire city.  Regal or humble, beneficent
or malevolent, these guests and their hosts engage in ways that have
created some of the most stimulating and enjoyable dramas of world
literature.  We will examine the staging of the guest/host
relationship and its perversion in various theatrical and cultural
contexts. In particular, we will consider the ways in which generic
conventions shape reception and interpretation. The works we will be
reading include: Sophocles (Oedipus at Colonus, Philoctetes),
Euripides (Medea), Shakespeare (King Lear), Molière (Tartuffe),
Racine (Andromache), Ibsen (Hedda Gabler), Chekhov (The Three
Sisters), Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest), Ionesco (The
Chairs, The Lesson), Lorca (Blood Wedding),Brecht (The Good Woman of
Setzuan), Mishima (Lady Aoi, Hanjo), Pinter (The Birthday Party),
Soyinka (Death and the King’s Horseman).

Assignments: one 5-6 page paper, one 7-8 page paper, a critical
review of a stage production, a final exam.