Exoticism in 17-19C Theater
The theatrical genre, characterized by a self-contained scene, traditionally ruled by unity of place, time and action, does not seem to lend itself to bigger spaces and location changes. However, since the beginning of the 17th century, some French playwrights have opened the scene to the representation of other parts of the world. Du Hamel was the first to set his action in Canada. The great playwrights Molière and Racine were interested in the Orient. Marivaux chose to set his plays in idealistic versions of the real world, creating the genre of utopian theater which challenges the traditional unity of place, time and action. Jules Verne adapted his fictional series of travel novels, Voyages Extraordinaires, to be played on stage. It’s theater inspired by world exploration, plays enacted on a stage yet depicting a larger world, that students in this literature class will explore, reading plays written from the 17th century to the 19th century.
Students can choose to take either a methodological section (6616A) or a literary section (6616B) of this course. The first option, section A, offers literary and social science students an opportunity to master analytical methods and textual commentaries that will allow them to read and understand a variety of theatrical texts, all while enhancing their analytical writing skills through various methodological exercises. These include summaries, literary comparisons, technical explanations, textual commentaries, argumentative dialectical essays, reading analyses and oral presentations. The second option, section B, offers students the opportunity to study the historic, literary, dramatic, cultural, philosophical and social evolution of the theatrical genre in France from the 17th to the 19th centuries in great depth. In both sections, students will read the plays and watch different film productions of each work as well.
Works to be studied:
Le Bourgeois gentilhomme by Molière
Bajazet by Racine
N.B Students who choose section A can validate their credits in methodology (equivalent to 6525).