Honors | Twice-Told Tales (HON)
H203 | 28362 | Gareth Evans
In this course, we will read four canonical literary texts with
their twentieth and twenty-first -century counterparts. Our concern
will be with how recent writers revise and re-imagine the concerns
of writers from earlier periods and other countries. We will also
consider the extent to which contemporary authors extend, challenge,
or subvert the texts they revise. Sean Meredith’s film features hand-
drawn puppets, is full of references to American culture and
politics in the last fifty year, and is a satirical update of
Dante’s Inferno. While Baz Luhrmann’s postmodern filmic retake of
Romeo and Juliet seeks to remake and popularize that play for a
contemporary audience, we will add a third layer to our
investigation of Romeo and Juliet by attending a performance of
Cardinal Stage’s production of the play. In Seth Grahame-Smith’s
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, monsters roam the Regency England
of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Finally, in The Graveyard
Book, we will see Neil Gaiman offer a ghoulish, graphic-novel
inflected rewrite of Kipling, whose book we will also see remade,
and drastically cut in Disney’s The Jungle Book. In each case, we
will address the knowledge and expectations of the initial audience
for each work, examine the controversies some of these rewrites have
engendered, and ponder whether and how the tale we read or view
second or third causes us to re-read and re-interpret the tale we
Sean Meredith, Dante’s Inferno (Film).
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet.
Baz Luhrmann, William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (Film).
Walt Disney, The Jungle Book (Film).
Rudyard Kipling, Jungle Book.
Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book.
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.
Seth Grahame-Smith, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
•Three six to eight page essays. 80% of final grade.
•A library exercise that will test your ability to find material in
IUCAT and a variety of subject-specific online databases. 10% of
•Participation in class discussion and in-class activities. 10% of
•Participation in out of class activities, such as attendance at a
performance of Romeo and Juliet in late February or early March, and
perhaps at an evening showing of a film.