Comparative Literature | Detective, Mystery, and Horror Literature
C217 | 14638 | Carleton, C

CMLT-C 217 (14638): Detective, Mystery, and Horror Literature
Instructor: C. Carleton ,  MWF 10:10-11:00,

Fulfills A&H requirements.
In this class, we will discuss works of literature featuring the
most hateful,
disgusting and vengeful acts of which humans are capable.  We will
talk about ritual cannibalism, murder, revenge, kidnapping, and
dismemberment.  We will consider the role of fortune and the gods,
the chain of being, character motivation, revenge and the overall
aim of descriptive acts of violence. Murderer, tyrannical lunatic,
psychopath, and sodomite are monikers that demarcate cultural
boundaries and point up the distinction between civilized and
barbaric modes of behavior. As a point of reference, we will read
Seneca's “Thyestes” the prototype and the model from which later
Renaissance dramatists drew inspiration. Seneca blended grotesque
physical horror with allusions to stoic philosophy. Later, Marlowe
and Shakespeare perfected the form.  We’ll also look at actual
accounts of cannibalism from the early modern period, as well as
reports of early Christian martyrdom. Texts will include: Marlowe’s
Tamburlaine the Great and The Jew of Malta, Shakespeare’s Titus
Andronicus, Dobyns’ The Wrestler’s Cruel Study, and Gifford’s Night