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seminar outline




Week 1

S. Tuesday 7 January 2014

L. Thursday 9 January 2014

and the Enlightenment
to the theatre of the 18th century
Week 2

S. Tuesday 14 January 2014

L. Thursday 16 January 2014

philosophie and social class

Diderot, Le Fils naturel

Pair presentation: Le Fils naturel, ou les épreuves de la vertu: Diderot and morality

Work for everyone:

  • How does Diderot give a sense of le réel?
  • How are monologues used?
  • Examine the development of the plot scene by scene, act by act
  • How does Diderot create pathos?
  • Look at his use of stage directions
  • To what extent does he match the aims he sets out to achieve?
Week 3

S. Tuesday 21 January 2014

L. Thursday 23 January 2014

Le Barbier de Séville and the comic

Sedaine, Le Philosophe sans le savoir

Pair presentation: the creation of suspense in the play

Work for everyone:

  • Tableaux, mime, gestures and expression
  • Female characterisation
  • The comic vs le pathétique
  • Verisimilitude
  • Why is this usually acknowledged as the best example of the drame bourgeois?
Week 4

S. Tuesday 28 January 2014

L. Thursday 30 January 2014

on session in Modern Records Centre
Beaumarchais, Le Barbier de Séville

Pair presentation: wit

Work for general discussion:

  • Compare and contrast the start and end of each act
  • Examine the character of Figaro
  • Theatricality and clichéd dramatic procedures
Week 5

S. Tuesday 4 February 2014

L. Thursday 6 February 2014

de Gouges, Les Voeux forcés


Pair presentation: the themes of disguise and game playing

Topics for general discussion:

  • Social criticism
  • II xiv
  • III xi
Week 6 Reading week Reading week
Week 7

S. Tuesday 18 February 2014

L. Thursday 20 February 2014

and melodrama

Olympe de Gouges, Les Voeux forcés

Pair presentation: the cure-grand vicaire conflict

Topics for general discussion:

  • anti-clericalism in the play
  • dramatic unity
  • the problems of producing political theatre
  • I ii
Week 8

S. Tuesday 25 February 2014

L. Thursday 27 February 2014

Dumas and the drame romantique

Pixérécourt, Victor

Pair presentation: the spectacular spectacle

Topics for general discussion:

  • Compare and contrast the representation of father-son relationships in Victor and Les Voeux force
  • Morality
  • The notion of popular theatre
  • II viii
  • III xi
Week 9

S. Tuesday 4 March 2014

L. Thursday 6 March 2014

Ruy Blas

Dumas, Antony

Pair presentation: Antony, figure typique du romantisme

Topics for general discussion:

  • Fate
  • ‘Antony est une scène d’amour, de jalousie, de colèe en cinq actes’ (Dumas). Discuss
  • II v from ‘Antony, le monde a ses lois…’ to ‘Adèle! Adèle!’ (pp. 86-89)
  • IV vi from ‘les romantiques font tous des prefaces…’ to ‘…un frère ou un mari.’ (pp. 126-28)
Week 10

S. Tuesday 11 March 2014

L. Thursday 13 March 2014

Guest speaker

Hugo, Ruy Blas

Pair presentation: doubling and disguise

Topics for general discussion:

  • The political and the social
  • Le pathétique et le bouffon
  • Symbolism
  • IV i
  • In his preface de Cromwell, Hugo refers to the alexandrine as ‘libre, franc, loyal, osant tout dire sans pruderie, tout exprimer sans recherche’. Discuss with reference to Ruy Blas.