Tartuffe, Beggar’s Opera

In class on Wednesday, we returned to Tartuffe and spent quite a bit of time meditating on the motif of blindness, the nature of sight, and ultimate conclusions about the play; we also considered the impact of a historical awareness of its staging, especially insofar as spectators would have been seated on the stage, and the privileged perspective offered to the seat of honor. I think I got a bit carried away with this discussion–I noticed yawns and bored expressions–and I could have fruitfully cut it short to allow more time for the student presentations. Ah, hindsight.

Afterwards, I introduced students to the context and impact of The Beggar’s Opera, and because it’s such a strange play that will likely be very unfamiliar to them, I screened the first twenty minutes or so of the Daltrey version. There were a lot of questions, and a bit of discomfort with the singing; hopefully, we’ll have a great conversation about it after Easter Break!

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