english 205 introduction to comedy paper

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Over the course of the term, we have studied several theories of how comedy relates to the political and social world around it. For this paper, you will choose one of these theories and analyze it in relation to Metamorphosis, O’Connor’s short stories, Modern Times, I Love Lucy, or Chewing Gum. Because we discussed the absurd in relation to Kafka and O’Connor, and mechanicity with Chapilin you cannot use those specific theories for those texts in your paper.

Word count at least 800.

The paper involves three steps:

1. Spend one paragraph explaining your chosen theory as clearly as possible in your own words.

2. Examine how the text, film, or tv show helps to illustrate that theory, citing specific scenes or passages for evidence. You can also talk about how it adds to, changes, or challenges the theory.

3. Your final paragraph(s) should talk about why this matters: in what way could the text, film, or show bemaking a statement about a particular social issue, asking a question about that issue, or moving its audience to think or feel a certain way about an issue?

Theories of Comedy

Superiority: discussed in relation to Plato and Aristophanes in week 2, day 1 slides.

Carnival: discussed in relation to Bakhtin and Shakespeare in week 4, day 1 slides.

Irony: discussed in relation to De Man and Austin in week 5, day 2 slides.

Mechanicity: discussed in relation to Bergson and Chaplin in week 8, day slides.

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