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THEA 104 Week 5 Notes

by: Kinsey Sturgeon

THEA 104 Week 5 Notes THEA 104

Marketplace > Ball State University > Theatre > THEA 104 > THEA 104 Week 5 Notes
Kinsey Sturgeon
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Notes on comedy & Earnest
Aesthetics 2
Dr. Michael O'Hara
Class Notes
theatre, aesthetics, THEA 104
25 ?




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kinsey Sturgeon on Monday February 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to THEA 104 at Ball State University taught by Dr. Michael O'Hara in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see Aesthetics 2 in Theatre at Ball State University.


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Date Created: 02/22/16
Week 5 2/10-Comedy  Academic definitions of comedy o “Non-serious actions handled non-seriously.” o Northrop Frye: “Society of the Young” vs “Society of the Old”  Relatively powerless youth struggles against social conventions  Must conform within such structures to achieve his/her hopes.  Characteristics of a “comic” o Surprise, incongruity, conflict, repetitiveness, opposite expectations  Theatrical comic genres o Satire – topical, dates quickly – human or individual vices or follies are held up to ridicule irony, parody, or burlesque o Farce – mechanical, situational, and character based comedy whose aim is laughter o Comedy of manners – wit, irony, close to satire – social mores held up to ridicule o Black comedy – subject defines the genre o Slapstick – physical comedy o Sit-com – character based situational comedy  Comedy of manners o New comedy – Menander o High style, elaborate plots, stock characters o Plautus, Terrance o EARNEST is among the best examples…ever  Analysis in comedy o Climax resolved for the protagonist o Crisis often creates opportunity rather than forces a conflict o Inciting incident is often inconsequential or silly o Fewer chances to the major action  Feedback o The MAJOR action of the play is changed when the current trajectory of action can’t be sustained o The beats that make up an action must be unified, coherent, and logically connected o Outlines either skipped parts of the play, were too general, or had yet to identify an action o Use the right verbs, simple and accurate o Don’t try to make your beats too big, think of your beats like parts of plot, the plot of a MAU o “The major actions of the play change when someone/thing forces Jack (and Algy) to change what they’re doing to pursue his/their goals.” – O’Hara 2/12-Importance of Being Earnest  Stasis A o Jack wants to marry Gwendolen and will propose. She will accept o He is Jack in the country and Ernest in the city o Algy & “Ernest” are great friends, almost brothers 2 o Algy has the cigarette case & wants to know who “Jack” & “Cecily” may be o Algy is an accomplished bunburyist & suspects “Ernest” may be one too  MAU 1: Jack seeks to resolve his dual identities. o Algy and Lane banter over roles, “flipping them” o Algy and Jack banter over various identities: friends, husbands and aristocrats o Algy teases Jack with the cigarette case o Algy traps “Ernest” in a confession & shares his own dual ID o Jack tests joining his dual identities as he proposes o Gwendolen accepts proposal but insists on “Ernest” o Bracknell rejects Jack’s lack of identity (possible inciting incident for the play) o Jack bristles over Bracknell’s rejection, vows to fix his identity  MAU 2: Jack, Algy, Gwen, and Cecily all battle over/for Ernest o Gwendolen declares eternal love for Ernest, regardless of marriage o Gwen bullies “Ernest” into revealing his country address o Algernon steals Ernest’s identity o Act Break o Cecily years for Ernest, Prism for her lost novel, and Chasuble for Prism o Algernon flirts with Cecily and discovers that “Ernest” has been engaged to her for months 3 o Jack discovers Algernon’s subterfuge, foiling his efforts to become Ernest himself o Cecily and Gwen fight over Ernest o The girls discover 2 different Ernests o The boys confess no one is engaged to “Ernest” o Girls state the “insuperable barrier” of Ernest o Boys vow to be re-christened Ernest o Bracknell discovers Cecily’s and Algy’s/Ernest’s attachment o Jack/Ernest negotiates with Bracknell o Bracknell refuses to allow marriage o A “passionate celibacy” is all they can hope for  MAU 3: Jack discovers a path towards resolving his identity. o Bracknell recognizes Prism’s identity o Bracknell interrogates Prism o Algy discovers he has a brother o Jack presses Prism to remember where she left the bag o Prism IDs the handbag, giving Jack a path toward his ID o Jack mistakenly names Prism as his mother  MAU 4: Jack unites his identity and wins Bracknell’s permission o Bracknell confirms Algy & Jack are brothers o No one can remember their parent’s Christian names 4 o Bracknell confirms Jack’s hypotheisis on the lists of military names o Jack discovers his real name o Ernest puts down the book  MAU 5: Ernest discovers the Unimportance of Being “Earnest” o Ernest discovers his lies were truth o Gwendolyn is sure he’ll change o Ernest embraces Gwendolen, all unite o Bracknell accuses all of being trivial o Ernest learns that it isn’t important for him to be earnest because his lies didn’t stop him from winning both his love and his identity. He is trivial 5


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