Academia: "Follow me this jest now": Comedic and Tragic Elements in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Dec 2, 2019

Another blast from the past -- this one all the way back to college! In the spring of 2007, I essentially already had my degree, but I needed to take one more course just to remain a full-time student during my final semester at William & Mary. I'd always heard the Religions department was incredibly difficult, but I'd also heard good things about a Professor Morreall, so I decided to take his "Comedy, Tragedy, and Religion" course pass-fail. Joke was on me; I ended up getting a 98 that in no way counted towards my GPA. 

But the course was brilliant! I still reference it all the time. We spent the first half of the semester just investigating comedy and tragedy, then the second half applying those concepts to world religions. I had just finished directing Romeo and Juliet the previous semester, so I wrote my mid-term paper on the conflict between comedic and tragic tropes in that play.

The writing in this is, well, a college student's work, and I could do better now -- but the concepts in it are still fun to explore.

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