1. GENERAL HEADING: Video and Film Analysis
2. TITLE OF EXERCISE: "Comedy and Tragedy"
3. GOALS: To demonstrate comic theory and technique.
4. NUMBER OF STUDENTS: Full class.
5. EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES: A video player situated so that everyone can see it, and a copy of the first act finale of the Royal Shakespeare Company's Nicholas Nickleby on tape.(End of tape 2 of 4).
6. CLASS TIME NEEDED: Twenty minutes.
7. STEP-BY-STEP DESCRIPTION: To demonstrate the nature of comic and tragic techniques, play the scene in Nicholas Nickleby in which the Vincent Crummles company of players within the play performs the closing scene of Romeo and Juliet. In the early part of the scene the actors use comic performing devices to keep the scene from having its usual seriousness. About half-way through the scene the text departs from Shakespeare and one can see that tragedy is avoided through structure.
8. POINTS FOR OBSERVATION, DISCUSSION: An easily accessible demonstration of theory.
9. SOURCE/REFERENCE: Alan Dessen
10. ADDITIONAL READING: N.A.
11. VARIATIONS: The opposite effect (comedy made tragic) can be demonstrated
with the ending of Kenneth Branagh's Twelfth Night. Just kidding.