- Code ENGL2117
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
- ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
- Course subject English
- Areas of interest Classics and Ancient History , Drama, English, Literature, Film
- Academic career UGRD
- Mode of delivery In Person
- Co-taught Course
Is comedy just for laughs? Does it have a serious purpose? Is humour time-bound? This course will take the long view of dramatic comedy, exploring ways in which it is catalysed by, and speaks to, its immediate contexts. The entertainment revolution offered by Shakespeare's public playhouse will provide the touchstone for a wide-ranging investigation of forms of dramatic comedy that have been influenced by it. We will explore dramatic comedy's relationship with developing technologies of performance and with socio-political concerns such as state and individual authority, class, and gender. Topics may include the 21st-century 'mockumentary', black comedy, slapstick, farce, Restoration comedy, Renaissance comedy, Sentimental comedy, romantic comedy and the roots of comedy in ancient Greek culture. In each instance you will learn to identify both common tricks and innovations that have constituted the evolution of this important but often over-looked cultural form.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
formal continuities between early and recent examples of dramatic comedy
- Explain the
conventions and technologies of performance relevant to comedy
close analysis of a comedy text with research on how it interacts with its
- Communicate analysis and research in an engaging way which either uses and/or illuminates specific elements of dramatic comedy
Comparative scene analysis (1000 words) (20%) (LO1, LO4)
Notes on a scene (500 words) (10%) (LO2, LO3, LO4) and staging exercise (15 minutes/1500 words equiv.) (10%) (LO2, LO4)
Final Exam or optional Essay (2000 words) (50%) (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4)Class participation (10%) (LO1, LO2 and LO3)
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact: 12 hours of lectures and 24 hours of workshop and workshop-like activities.
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading, writing and film-viewing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Eric Weitz, the Cambridge Introduction to Comedy, Cambridge, CUP: 2009.
Eric Weitz, The Cambridge Introduction to Comedy, Cambridge, CUP: 2009.
Penny Gay, The Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeare's Comedies.
T.G.A. Nelson, Comedy : an introduction to comedy in literature, drama, and cinema, New York : Oxford University Press, 1990.
William Shakespeare, As You Like It.
William Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor.
Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance.
Charlie Chaplin, Modern Times.
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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