21L.021 | Spring 2022 | Undergraduate



Session # Topic/Readings Notable Dates
1 Introduction: Two (Many?) Sides to Comedy. When we compare comedy to other modes, such as tragedy, horror, or melodrama, it seems easy to define. We will find, however, that comedy is not so simple.  
Comic Violence, Violent Comedy
2 Aristophanes, Lysistrata  
3 Aristophanes, Lysistrata, continued; Spike Lee, Chi-Raq (2015)  
4 Plautus, The Two Manaechmuses   
5 Billy Wilder, Some Like It Hot (1959)   
6 Research Workshop with MIT Libraries. Be prepared to start your in-class presentation.  
7 In-class Writing Workshop. Exchange papers with partner before class.

Essay #1 (1000 words) 

Due by midnight.

8 Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew   

Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew 

Clip in Class: from Franco Zeffirelli, The Taming of the Shrew (1967)

Love and Mockery
10 Revision Workshop

Revision (1000 words)

Due by midnight. 

11 Shakespeare, Twelfth Night   

Shakespeare, Twelfth Night 

Clip in Class: from Trevor Nunn, Twelfth Night (1996)

13 Behn, The Rover  
14 Behn, The Rover  
15 Austen, Pride and Prejudice   
16 Austen, Pride and Prejudice   

Austen, Pride and Prejudice 

Clip in Class: from Robert Z. Leonard, Pride and Prejudice (1940)

18 In-class Workshop

Essay #2 (1500 words)

Due by midnight. 

19 Melville, Moby-Dick, Chapters 1-23.  
Modern Times
20 Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest  

Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest 

Clip in Class: from Anthony Asquith, The Importance of Being Earnest (1952)

22 Film: Charlie Chaplin, Modern Times (1936)   
23 Bechdel, Fun Home   
24 Bechdel, Fun Home   
25 Video: Andy Kaufman on HBO; Hannah Gadsby, Three Ideas; Douglas

Reflection(750 words)

Due by midnight.

26 Conclusion

Essay #3 (1500 words)

Due by midnight.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2022
Learning Resource Types
assignment Written Assignments