The Odd Couple

by Neil Simon

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Topics for Further Study

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  • Compare the movie version of The Odd Couple with the television series. Which is more effective and why? How does each differ from the stage play?
  • Research to discover how rising costs have affected Broadway and how economic pressures have contributed to the dichotomy between commercial entertainment and art in American theatre.
  • Read several theoretical discussions that attempt to define comedy philosophically, as distinct from laughter, and then apply your definition of comedy to The Odd Couple, your favorite television sitcom, and to a Shakespearean comedy.
  • Identify the techniques that Simon uses in The Odd Couple to establish the conflict between Oscar and Felix by the end of Act I, to intensify that conflict in Acts II and III, and to resolve the conflict by the end of the play.

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