RENÉ GIRARD’S THEATRE OF ENVY

René Girard argues that the 10th Commandment against coveting, or envy, explains every other sin in the Bible, starting with Adam and Eve coveting God’s knowledge of good and evil.  Overcoming that envy is at the heart of Christ’s Passion. Shakespeare, he argues, would agree.  To see what he means, this course will attempt to understand Girard’s theory of  “mimetic rivalry,” “triangulation” and scapegoating violence, by reading how he interprets Shakespeare’s major plays.  From “A Midsummer Nights Dream,” through “Julius Caesar” and “A Winter’s Tale”, we will use these plays to see the otherwise hidden connection between envy, sin, Christ’s crucifixion, and his Resurrection. 

This course's seminar will feature Senior Fellows Patrick Downey and Tiffany Schubert.

Course
Materials

LITTRAD 450

THIS COURSE HAS CONCLUDED. THE FOLLOWING LESSONS ARE PRE-RECORDED VIDEOS FROM EARLY FALL OF 2021.

Texts:

René Girard, A Theatre of Envy: William Shakespeare St. Augustine’s Press, South Bend, Indiana. 1991

René Girard, I See Satan Fall Like Lightening Orbis Books, Maryknoll New York, 2001

William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

William Shakespeare, A Winter’s Tale

William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida

About Instructor

Patrick Downey

Patrick Downey received his MA in theology from Harvard University and PhD in theology from Boston College. He taught at Boston College from 1988-1993 and at St. Mary’s College of California since 1994. His areas of specialization are ethics, political philosophy, foundational theology, and poetics. He is the author of two books: Serious Comedy: The Philosophical and Theological Significance of Tragic and Comic Writing in the Western Tradition and Desperately Wicked: Philosophy, Christianity, and the Human Heart. He’s married with four daughters and lives in California.

1 Course

Not Enrolled

Course Includes

  • 8 Lessons
  • Course Certificate