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Course Details

Spring 2017-2018
* THR 350 / ENG 449 (LA)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Playing Dead: Corpses in Theater and Cinema

Fintan O'Toole

What happens when there is a dead body on stage? Why do corpses star in so many movies? Reverence for the dead is one of the markers of humanity, bound up with the development of societies and cultures. But we also play with dead bodies, spinning stories around them that can be austere or grotesque, tragic or farcical, haunting or hilarious. Dramas and films use dead bodies to explore fear, sex, greed, guilt, innocence and grief. In this course, we contemplate corpses from Antigone to Alfred Hitchcock and from Shakespeare¿s tragedies to Stand By Me and Weekend at Bernie's and bring the dead to life.

Sample reading list:
Sophocles, Antigone
Alfred Hitchcock, The Trouble with Harry
Laura Wade, Breathing Corpses
Ted Kotcheff, Weekend at Bernie's
John Millington Synge, The Playboy of the Western World
Rob Reiner, Stand By Me

Reading/Writing assignments:
Students will prepare a short blog post before each class. One play (or two short plays) or one film will be studied in each class. Two essays will be written, one at the end of Spring Break, one for Dean's Date.

Paper in Lieu of Mid Term - 35%
Paper in lieu of Final - 35%
Class/Precept Participation - 30%

Reserved Seats:
Juniors and Seniors Only 9
Freshmen and Sophomores Only 9


Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
43683 S01 01:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm Th   Wallace Dance Building and The   W215   Enrolled:14 Limit:18