Comparative Literature | Drama
C311 | 1211 | Pao
AHLA credit MW 2:30-3:45 BH 319 Prof. Pao
The focus for this semester's study of dramatic literature will be
conceptions and creations of character. We will be reading a wide range
of plays from Europe, Africa, Asia and America to examine the ways in
which different cultures in different times have constructed human beings
for the stage. These conceptions of character will be considered in the
context of contemporaneous ideas regarding human "identity," the nature
and function of theatrical performance, and the requirements of different
dramatic genres. A fundamental problem we will be discussing is the
relationship of dramatic texts and performance to the world of reality.
Included in the types of plays we will be reading are classical Greek
tragedy, Japanese n plays, commedia dell'arte, Shakespearean tragedy,
17th-century French comedy, 19th-century melodrama, European modern drama,
American contemporary drama, postcolonial African drama, and 20th-century
intercultural performance pieces. Among the authors will be Sophocles,
Molihre, Ibsen, Chekhov, Genet, Beckett, Deavere Smith, Soyinka,
Sutherland, Carrihre, LePage. Graduate students will have additional
critical and theoretical reading assignments.
There will be two 7-8 page papers and a final exam for undergraduates.
Written work for graduate students to be negotiated.