Antics of the Reduced Shakespeare Company


Dr. Richard Regan

Spring 2009

Office hours: Mon 1-3, Thurs 1-3, and by appointment.

Texts: Editions of the works below are in the campus bookstore.

Three major papers, 7-10 pp. These may be rewritten after a conference. Late papers may be reduced in grade.

Reaction papers, 3-4 pp. Generally one a week, based on classroom discussion and video, and closely related to comic theory (handouts). These will be graded √+, √, √- and can raise or lower your average. Late papers may be reduced in grade.

Attendance: each cut lowers your average 1 point. Documented excuses only (Deans' office, Health Service, faculty advisor). Excessive absences may result in a failing grade.

Students with documented learning disabilities, please see me. Alternative methods of testing and evaluation are available.

Schedule (* indicates film/tape also)

January 14 - Theories of humor; working definition of comedy
Parody and Satire.
A philosopher looks at humor.
Humor journals.


January 21 - Origins of comedy.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum*
Roman Comedy and farce.

Literary Romance
Vaudeville and Burlesque

: "Introduction" (Corrigan), Bergson, Freud, Bentley.


From Stage to Screen

History, Lyrics and Sound Files

January 28 - SNOW DAY

February 4 - Candide (reading quiz)
Types of comedy. Comic characters. Origins of Camp.
Read: Frye, Sontag.



Camp, Kitsch, and Sontag

Notes on Camp

Camp and Drag

Camp: An Introduction

A Guide to Leonard Bernstein's Candide

Bernstein Website

PBS "Candide" in Concert (January 2005)

February 11 - The Graduate*
Romantic (Shakespearian) Comedy.

Greatest Films: The Graduate

More Reviews (click on links)

The Graduate - 30 Years Later

Links for Apollonian-Dionysian symbolism
Online Discussion Outline
Man's Extremity And the Modern Artist (Find menu for "dionysian")
H. L. Mencken's The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche (parody)
Cult, Rite, and the Tragic: Appropriating Nietzsche's Dionysian
Apollo and Dionysus--some views on Tragedy
Apollo versus Dionysus
Introduction: Dionysian Shaw (access from Project Muse database at DiMenna-Nyselius Library)

February 18 - The Miser*
Moliere and the comedy of the mechanical.
Humours (4 temperaments)
Lanson, Potts.


Moliere's Miser

A Production of The Miser

February 25 - Man and Superman (reading quiz)
On Approval.*

Comedy of Manners.
Comic Closure.
Read: Lehman, Park.

The Shavian Ideal

Bernard Shaw: A Brief Biography

G.B.S.: The Life of George Bernard Shaw



March 11 - Chocolat.*
Comic fable and allegory.

Read: Santayana (Mardi Gras March 3)

Journal Of Religion and Film review


March 18 - Absurdist and surrealist
Screwball comedy.
Monty Python and the Marx Brothers.
Read: Kerr, Watts, Grotjahn.


Marx Brothers page


Complete Python TV scripts

Monty Python Lego

Vintage Python Interview (1975)

for Screwball Comedy:

from the Modern Times film site

(includes audio files and film stills)

Screwball Comedy

Home of the Screwball


March 25 - Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead*


Lecture on Stoppard (and Beckett)

Salon article

April 1 - Brave New World (reading quiz)
Utopia and dystopia.
Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb*




A Huxley page

What Happened to Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley: Brave New World

Learn While You Sleep

Smell, Sleep. Memory

Dr. Strangelove review

Official Kubrick Page

The "Pie Fight" Ending

April 8 - Catch-22 (reading quiz. Concentrate on Chapters 4,5,17,18,22,23,24,30,32,39,40,41,42)
Waiting for Godot.
Black comedy.
Grotesque. (Click on "The Grotesque," then 3 "Towards a Definition" link for Heller.)

A Heller page

"Deadly Unconscious Logics in Joseph Heller's Catch-22"

Links to the Grotesque

The Samuel Beckett Endpage

Samuel Beckett Resources and Links

"BECKETT'S GODOT: 'A bundle of broken mirrors'"

April 15 - Fargo*
Read: Suzanne Langer, "Feeling and Form."

A note on Fargo

Janet Maslin's NYT review


The Banality of Evil

Rotten Tomatoes reviews

Joel and Ethan Coen

Senses of Cinema article

Barton Fink

April 22 - Sense and Sensibility*


Jane Austen Information Page

April 29 - FINAL PAPER DUE (for rewrite)

May 5 - Final Due Date

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