Theater and Essay

FRIT-F305 — Fall 2022

Eric MacPhail
SW 103
Days and Times
TR 1:15P - 2:30P
Course Description

In this course we will read plays and essays by French authors from the 17th to the 20th century. We begin with Pierre Corneille’s tragedy Cinna, which will be the subject of our first exam. Then we read the Enlightenment philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau’s essay on the politics of theatrical representation, his Lettre à d’Alembert, on which the students will write and rewrite an essay on a topic chosen in consultation with the professor. Then we turn to Alfred de Musset’s Romantic drama Lorenzaccio, the subject of our second exam, an in-class essay test like the first. From the 20th century we will read the poet Guillaume Apollinaire’s essay in art criticism, Les peintres cubistes, which will give us a little practice in art history. Students will each do an in-class presentation on one of the works discussed by Apollinaire. Our last reading will be Jean Giraudoux’s two-act play La guerre de Troie n’aura pas lieu, an unusually salient work for our fragile age. The final will be on Giraudoux. All work in French. Grades based on five assignments and participation in class discussion.


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