RLFR 240 Molière in Performance

Last offered Spring 2013

Like Shakespeare, the work of France's greatest playwright is less a timeless monument than a living body, perpetually in motion, yet constantly changing. This course offers a dual approach to the theater of Molière. The first half of the semester will focus on readings and analysis of printed plays: Le Dépit amoureux, L'Ecole des femmes, Tartuffe, Le Misanthrope, L'Avare, Le Bourgeois gentilhomme, Les Fourberies de Scapin, and Le Malade imaginaire, among others. We will consider the broader socio-political, intellectual, and aesthetic forces at work in the Age of Louis XIV, as well as the formal and thematic features of each play. Turning from the seventeenth century to the twentieth, the second half of the semester will examine modern interpretations of Molière, especially those of major theater directors including Jouvet, Planchon, Vitez, and Mnouchkine. Discussions will be informed by viewings as well as interviews, reviews, and critical essays. Throughout the semester, we will explore the dynamic relationships between tradition and innovation, elite and popular culture, actors and audience, past and present. The semester culminates in student-led micro-performances inspired by our readings, viewings, and discussions. Conducted in French.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: active class participation, weekly online postings, a short midterm paper, final performance project and accompanying report
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Prerequisites: RLFR 201, 202, or 203, or by permission of the instructor
Enrollment Preference: French, Comparative Literature, Theater, and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies majors, and those with compelling justification for admission
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Divisional Attributes: Division I
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Enrollment Limit: 20
Expected Enrollment: 20
Class Number: 3872
RLFR 240 SEM Molière in Performance Division 1: Languages and the Arts Annelle M. Curulla
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