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燈號說明

審定:無
翻譯:林美蓮(簡介並寄信)
編輯:賴恆黎(簡介並寄信)

授課概述

"悲劇"一詞原係指某種特定的戲劇藝術,後來亦指其他文學表現方式;它同時也指某些事件,通常隱含著一種特殊的人生觀。綜觀西方文學史,這個詞包含了以上兩種意義。悲劇出現在文學作品中,也發生在人生經歷裡。

經由仔細研讀分析文學作品的內容,本課程將從以下三方面深入探討悲劇經驗:

  1. 代罪羔羊:悲劇小說的敘事者主要是指遭逢重大事故的人或對象,主人翁所受的痛苦並不是自願承受的,而是一種英雄主義所導致的行為, 通常與某些作為並沒有直接的關係。我們的討論將著重於代罪羔羊與種族暴力的犧牲品如何誕生及其相關議題。

  2. 悲劇英雄: 代罪羔羊通常是身分卑微而且是被社會所遺棄的,但是悲劇中的主角依慣例自始至終是一個神聖而且有份量的重要人物,然而這種人物卻不是現代作品中的主要角色。在這堂課中,我們將討論悲劇經驗是否真的已經不存在於現代文學作品中了。

  3. 倫理危機: 悲劇行為通常會導致一種道德兩難的局面,不同的價值觀將使我們內心產生矛盾衝突,選擇其一並不能豁免另一個被否決的選擇對我們自身的影響。我們將討論這種悲劇性的抉擇。

課程表包括了Aeschylus (譯註:西元前525~456 希臘悲劇詩人) 偉大的三部曲《The Oresteia》、沙弗克利斯(譯註:西元前495~406 希臘悲劇詩人)兩部戲劇(安蒂岡妮》以及《伊底帕斯》)、Euripides (譯註:西元前480~406 希臘悲劇詩人) 一部戲劇 《Hippolytus》、有關蘇格拉底死亡的兩篇柏拉圖對話錄、莎士比亞的兩部劇作 (《馬克白》以及《李爾王》)、巴爾札克的小說《高老頭》、梅爾維爾的小說《Benito Cereno》、康拉德的《黑暗之心》; 易卜生的戲劇《傀儡家庭》、費茲傑羅的《大亨小傳》、Isaak Dinesen的短篇小說《Sorrow-Acre》以及卡繆的《異鄉人》。我們也會閱讀兩篇探討古代悲劇理論的文章,第一篇是摘錄自亞里斯多德的《詩論》,第二篇則是摘錄自尼采的《悲劇的誕生》。此外,在學期開始不久,我們也將欣賞柯波拉執導的〈教父〉影片,而在整個學期課程中,我們會不斷地提及這部電影。



授課形式

這門課每週一節,每節兩小時,通常先講授課程內容20分鐘至半小時不等,前兩堂課,也許授課時間比較長一些。剩下的時間將用讓同學討論所指定的閱讀資料。課堂上的討論很重要,學生參與並提出貼切的評論,將對學習成績有明顯的影響。大部分的成績取決於三篇指定的書面作業: 期初報告(篇幅長度約五至七頁), 期中報告(約七至九頁),以及期末報告(約十至十二頁)。每篇報告應探討閱讀資料與課堂討論的內容。報告題目可由同學自行訂定,或可從建議的清單中選擇,題目清單將於報告交期截止日前兩星期發給有需要的同學參考。

本門課需交一篇十頁長的期末報告作業,沒有期末考。




Course Overview

"Tragedy" is a name originally applied to a particular kind of dramatic art and subsequently to other literary forms; it has also been applied to particular events, often implying thereby a particular view of life. Throughout the history of Western literature it has sustained this double reference. Uniquely and insistently, the realm of the tragic encompasses both literature and life.

Through careful, critical reading of literary texts, this subject will examine three aspects of the tragic experience:

  1. The scapegoat: the focus of the tragic narrative is upon a person or agent overwhelmed by destructive events, whose suffering is not undertaken voluntarily, that is, by a deliberate act of heroism, and is often unrelated directly to the commission of certain deeds. Our discussions will pay attention to this association and to issues concerned with the election of scapegoats and of sanctioned targets for the exercise of communal violence.

  2. The tragic hero: the scapegoat is usually lowly and outcast but the tragic protagonist at the inception of tragic drama and throughout the renaissance was inevitably someone of immense consequence, a royal or priestly figure, a person of power. Such figures are not usually central in modern narratives. Our discussions will examine the view that the tragic experience is thereby diminished in modern literature.

  3. The ethical crisis: the circumstances of the tragic action usually pose an ethical dilemma in which different values appear to make rival and incompatible claims upon us and acknowledging one claim does not exempt us from the authority of the claim that we choose to deny. Our discussions will examine the idea of tragic choice.

These aspects of the tragic will be pursued in readings that range in the reference of their materials from the warfare of the ancient world to the experience of the modern extermination camps. The syllabus includes the following: Aeschylus's magnificent trilogy, The Oresteia, two plays by Sophocles (Antigone and Oedipus Rex), a play by Euripides (Hippolytus), two Platonic dialogues concerned with the death of Socrates, two plays by Shakespeare (Macbeth and King Lear), Balzac's novel, Père Goriot, Melville's Benito Cereno, Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Isaak Dinesen's short story, "Sorrow-Acre", and The Stranger, by Albert Camus. We will read excerpts from two theoretical approaches to ancient tragic drama, the first from Aristotle's Poetics and the second from Friedrich Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy. In addition, we will view and discuss Francis Ford Coppolla's film, The Godfather. No particular time is reserved for discussion of this film, but we will view it early in the course and reference will be made to it throughout the term.



Course Format

The subject meets once a week for two hours. Each session begins with a lecture of varying length, usually running for twenty-minutes to half an hour, although the lectures of the first two meetings will be somewhat longer. The rest of the session is devoted to class-discussion of the materials assigned for the session. Participation in discussion is essential to the life of the class and the force and cogency of students' remarks will have a marked influence on grades. Much of the grade will also depend upon the quality of the three written assignments required by the course: an early paper (running from five to seven pages) a mid-term paper (running from seven to nine pages) and a final paper (running from ten to twelve pages). The papers will each deal with some aspect of the readings and discussion; topics may be invented by the students but an extensive list of suggested topics will be circulated two weeks in advance of each paper's due date for those students who require it.

A final paper is due that is ten pages in length. This subject does not have a final examination.




 
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