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LITS 0310 Comedy

The course explores the many types, styles and intentions of comedy in the western European literary tradition, from the earliest Greek and Roman examples of the genre, through the transformations made in the Renaissance by Shakespeare, to the ‘classical’ variants found in Jonson and Molière. Individual works are studied for their own merits as well as the light they shed on the evolution of comedy as a force in culture.

Sample Topics:

  • Aristophanes, Clouds, Lysistrata
  • Menander, The Girl From Samos
  • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus
  • Terence, The Eunuch
  • Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors, Much Ado About Nothing
  • Jonson, Volpone
  • Molière, The Miser


 Introductory Reading:

  • Bevis, M., Comedy: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 201
  • Lowe, N.J., Comedy (New Surveys in the Classics). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008
  • Salingar, L., Shakespeare and the Traditions of Comedy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976
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Veronica Popp, Spring Semester 2009, Elmhurst College