Spc Stds/Literary Problem
Term: Fall 2022 - Full Term (08/29/2022 - 12/12/2022)
Grade Mode: Letter Grading
Times & Locations
|2:10pm - 3:30pm
Fall 2022 Special Topic: Revenge Tragedy, Then & Now
This seminar will take an in-depth look at the long history of revenge tragedy, one of Western culture's most venerable genres. The very origins of tragedy can be traced to tales of revenge, and those stories raise enduring questions about our tribal loyalties and hatreds, justice and the law, the proper and improper uses of violence, guilt, repentance and forgiveness, and the role of divine and impersonal forces in human affairs. After discussion of classical tragedies by Aeschylus and Seneca, we will then move to the age of Shakespeare and sample some of the great early English achievements in the genre, among them Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy, Shakespeare's Hamlet and Othello, and Thomas Middleton's The Revenger's Tragedy. From there we'll turn our attention to modern outgrowths of this genre, looking at examples of revenge in modern plays, contemporary young adult novels, and action and horror films. Along the way we'll have occasion to consider why revenge has remained such a popular topic over time, how the morality of revenge has changed, why audiences identify with revengers, and how revenge is linked to questions of social justice. This course will culminate with a long research paper of your own design, which this seminar will teach you how to complete step-by-step.