film media write an essay by combining the contents of the book with the content of the movie

Choose one of three questions below and write one essay. You can, so to speak, edit a question: If one part interests you more than another, focus on that part, making clear how you have chosen to respond to the question.

In every case, you must discuss at least three works. You must discuss at least one movie and one play. 🙏

📘 (Books: George Aiken (after Harriet Beecher Stowe), Uncle Tom’s Cabin, in Early American Drama (1852) ; Dion Boucicault, The Octoroon, in Early American Drama (1859) ; Bertolt Brecht, The Measures Taken (1929-30) and The Exception and the Rule (1930), in The Measures Taken And Other Lehrstücke;Brecht, “Theatre for Pleasure or Theatre for Instruction,” “On Experiments in Epic Theatre,” and “The German Drama: Pre-Hitler” (all 1935);Bertolt Brecht, He Who Says Yes and He Who Says No (both 1929-30), in The Measures Taken And Other Lehrstücke; Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Its Mechanical Reproducibility: Second Version” (1936);Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire ;Samuel Beckett, Endgame (1957); Samuel Beckett, Krapp’s Last Tape (1958) and Rough for Radio II (1960s), in Collected Shorter Plays;Samuel Beckett, Play (1962-63), in Collected Shorter Plays; Samuel Beckett, Film (1963), in Collected Shorter Plays;Adrienne Kennedy, A Movie Star Has to Star in Black and White (1976), in The Adrienne Kennedy Reader; Adrienne Kennedy, The Alexander Plays, in The Adrienne Kennedy Reader;Julia Jarcho, Dreamless Land (2011), in Minor Theater: Three Plays;Julia Jarcho, Grimly Handsome (2013), in Minor Theater: Three Plays).

🎥 Movies: Edwin S. Porter, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Edison,1903); Harry A. Pollard,Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Universal, 1927) ; Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, Back Stage (with Buster Keaton; Buster Keaton, Sherlock, Jr. (Metro, 1924) ; Krapp’s Last Tape (with Harold Pinter); Alan Schneider, director, Film (1965) .

Paramount, 1919); Buster Keaton, The Playhouse (First National, 1921)Wahnotee attacks a camera. Stanley throws a radio out the window. Krapp sweeps reel- to-reel tapes to the floor. These are just a few examples of situations where the real or perceived violence of a technological medium results in human violence. We have also encountered examples where human figures experience themselves as victims of media apparatuses. Write an essay about the relationship between the violence of media and violence towards media.


Scenes of imprisonment and captivity recur across our term’s texts and films. In some cases, the captivity on stage represented real sites of bondage. In others, the stage or scene itself seems to have become a place of captivity. In yet others, captivity seems always to promise a comic resolution: there will always be an escape. What is so captivating about captivity?


Should I stay or should I go now? Should I stay or should I go now? If I go, there will be trouble

And if I stay it will be double

The Clash, “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” from Combat Rock (1982)

A mother, a baby in her arms, flees. What dangers follow upon flight from danger? What dangers come with staying put? What does it mean that both flight and staying put can be “heroic”? How might both escape and remaining in place make visible the socially constructed nature of what gets called “fate”? Paying close attention to the ways fleeing or remaining in place is represented in different media, write an essay about the dilemmas of escape or remaining.


Compelled to perform: what happens when performance – dancing, singing, even speaking – is the result of a command or a perceived obligation? Why is it that characters may be so ready to “improvise,” able to perform, as it were, on the spot? How does such performance vary from medium to medium? What happens to those who do not want to perform? What if authenticity, rather than being opposed to performance, is tied to it? Write an essay about the obligation to perform, or – and this may or may not be something else entirely – believing that one has chosen what is in fact the obligation to perform.

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