6/14/2021 HUMN 100 6981 Introduction to Humanities (2215) – HUMN 100 6981 Introduction to Humanities (2215) 1/5

Week 5: Theater and Film

HUMN 100 6981 Introduction to Humanities (2215) OO

Theater and Film

“All the world’s a stage, and all the

men and women merely players…”

William Shakespeare (from As Yo

Like It, Act II, Sc. VII)

The World’s Great Theater by Arturo Rodriguez

Metropolitan Museum of Art Open Access “The Met Collection”

Theater, a developed form of storytelling, is one of the oldest expressions of human

creativity. The relatively recent invention of film extends the possibilities for presenting

drama in new and provocative ways. In this week, we will examine drama and film, and

their connections to short stories and poetry.

The Study of Drama

Plays, Short Stories, and Poetry

As a literary form, theatrical plays are related to both short stories and poetry.

A short story and a play share similar elements. Both present plots that involve characters

facing and trying to resolve conflicts; however, plays are written to be performed in front

of an audience. Each performance of a play represents a specific interpretation, based on

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p p y p p p ,

the collaboration between the playwright and the director. When you read a play, you

become the director as you try to imagine the scenes as they unfold.

Because plays lack the types of narrators found in fiction, you must pay more attention to

the dialogue and actions of the characters to determine meaning. Unlike short fiction,

plays show rather than tell, providing exposition through dialogue and staging. As you

read a play, try to gauge the character’s tone of voice. Is he or she angry or sad? You can

determine what characters are feeling by thinking about their words and others’

responses to them.

Plays are similar to short stories in that the main character may not always tell the truth

(this type of character is called an unreliable narrator). Sometimes characters in a play

reveal their true thoughts in an aside (when a character speaks directly to the audience) or

in a soliloquy (when a character talks to him/herself either aloud or silently). You also

should note any stage directions supplied by the playwright because they can provide

additional insight into your understanding of the characters and the central conflicts.

Terms that apply to poetry as well as plays are

diction, tone, figurative language (simile, metaphor, personification, apostrophe),

symbolism, irony, theme

Terms that apply to short stories as well as plays are

setting, characters (dynamic, static, round, flat), plot (exposition, conflict, rising

action, climax, falling action, denouement), tone, atmosphere, symbolism, theme

Terms that apply specifically to drama include

stage directions (characters’ gestures and costumes, music, lighting, sound effects,

props), structure (acts, scenes, lines), point of view (aside, soliloquy), tragedy

(hamartia, hubris, catharsis, chorus, prologos), comedy (high, romantic, farce, satiric)

Learning Outcomes

Following is a list of the Week 5 outcomes, mapped to the corresponding course

outcome. The course outcomes give “the big picture,” and the weekly outcomes provide

more detailed information that will help you achieve the course outcomes.

Week 5 Outcomes

Identify and apply distinctions between drama and film (1, 2).

Identify and apply literary terminology relevant to the study of drama and film (1,


Describe some of the different methods used to interpret drama and film (2, 3).

Analyze and interpret drama and film within and across different cultures (3, 4).

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Week 5 Checklist

Week 5 Study Guide
Web Page

Week 5 Learning Resources
External Learning Tool

Week 5: QUIZ

Course Outcomes Met in Week 5

1. Describe and analyze the way human culture is expressed through works of

literature, performing and visual arts, philosophy, and religion in order to appreciate

the depth and breadth of the humanities disciplines.

2. Use basic vocabulary, concepts, methods, and theories of the humanities disciplines

in order to describe and analyze cultural and artistic expressions.

3. Identify and apply criteria in order to evaluate individual and collective cultural


4. Examine individual and cultural perspectives in the field of humanities in order to

recognize and assess cultural diversity and the individual’s place in the world.

0 % 0 of 5 topics complete

Read the Weekly Overview & Learning Goals

Read, View, Review all of the Learning Resources & Links

Participate in our Discussions

Take the Quiz

Take the quiz before you post to the discussions.

Please use the Learning Resources from this module to answer the quiz questions. You

may take this quiz up to five times. Questions you have answered incorrectly will be

shown to you after each attempt. Your best grade will be recorded in the grade book.

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WEEK 5 DISCUSSION: Analyzing Film and Drama
Discussion Topic

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR DISCUSSIONS: Your contributions should be thoughtful

and developed. Answer all parts of the question and use concepts from the course

materials. Use a professional style of communication, with attention to grammar, spelling,

and typos; cite your sources.

Choose ONE of the following options for a play and a corresponding film adaptation to

address this question. You might have to rent the film or find it on an online streaming


OPTION 1: Read Romeo and Juliet and watch one of the following adaptations: Gnomeo

& Juliet (2011), Chicken Rice War (2000), Romeo Must Die (2000), Romeo +

Juliet (1996), Romeo and Juliet(1968), Romeo and Juliet (1966), West Side

Story (1961), Romeo and Juliet (1954), Romeo and Juliet (1936).

OPTION 2: Read The Taming of the Shrew and watch one of the following adaptations:

Deliver Us from Eva (2003), 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), The Taming of the Shrew

(1967), McLintock! (1967), Kiss Me Kate (1953), You Made Me Love You (1933),

Now, for the play/film pair that you chose, address all parts of this question.

1. Clearly identify two scenes from the written play that also appear in the film

(however loosely) that you think are significant to the overall story, and explain


2. Offer an assessment of how well you think the film portrayed the two scenes. In

other words, was the film’s portrayal of these two scenes effective or ineffective?


3. Use at least two of the terms and concepts from the Learning Resources for the

module explain why the scenes portrayed in the film were effective or ineffective.

For example, perhaps the film used specific music and lighting in a scene to

effectively emphasize the tension of the scene. Underline or bold the vocabulary,

concept or technique you use as an interpretative tool in your post.

4. Finally, give your overall opinion about how the themes of this play translate to our

contemporary world and why you think this play has had so many film adaptations.

You will not see any other postings until you post your own.

Initial posts are due by Saturday at 11:30PM ET and at least two responses to fellow

classmates are expected by the end of the academic week on Tuesday by 11:30PM ET.

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