Dread and Delight: Portraying Passions in Early Modern French Literature (MLF2004)

15 credits

What makes a character tragic, pitiful, a victim? Should stories make you a better person or be entertaining? This module will examine such questions by looking at how four key works from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries portray the passions that motivate their characters. You will encounter passions that are destructive and transgressive, playful or fickle; and be challenged to think about the effect – whether moving, entertaining, moral or titillating – characters’ feelings are intended to have on readers. This will introduce you to key debates of the period about the purpose of literature and the nature and role of emotions.