Episode 14

Welcome to Leadership on Stage and Screen Lecture Podcast, Episode Fourteen.

Murder Most Foul

The genre of the murder mystery did not, for what it’s worth, originate with Shakespeare, although many, many of them like to quote from Shakespeare’s Macbeth: “Murder most foul,” “Out, out damned spot,” “Blood will have blood,” “murder will out,” and so on…

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  1. I love Revenge. Watched the entire drawn out show about it back in the earlier 2000s. How often do revenge plays actually work out successfully, without other emotions such as jealousy or anger taking over the character’s actions? Is there something that makes this kind of revenge better or worse/more or less entertaining?

  2. Do the structures of murder mysteries vary from one culture to the next, or do they all tend to follow the 4-act structure described in this podcast episode?

  3. Were Doyle and Christie more popular as murder mystery writers because they were better at it, or because they knew how to play to their audiences and give the people what they wanted to read/see?

  4. I have never seen a murder mystery play in person, but I have seen plenty of movie versions. I am wondering if there are certain tricks the plays use to make them seem more realistic because they are unable to use special effects or other methods to confuse the viewer?

  5. While most murder mysteries follow the 4-act structure described, are there ever any cases in which the detective has been implicated in some way in the crime and crosses the “grey area of ethics” that the revenger usually does? Or do all murder mysteries strictly have the detective character on the good side?

  6. Do all revenge plays generally follow this same plot, or can some stray from this format? Did Shakespeare set the precedent for this “revenge” format?

  7. I understand most, if not all, content and movie tropes are recycled then how do murder mysteries stay relevant? I absolutely love this genre, but after a while it does seem easy to predict or pull apart. How do content creators create something people won’t expect?

  8. I have read Christie’s “And Then There Were None” several times and continue to find myself mesmerized by the story, however this is a novel not a play. Have there been any adaptations or play versions of the novel? Or is the novel written in the same 4- act structure as plays, just in a different form?

  9. Knives Out feels like an interesting “revisionist” murder mystery with a woman, and one of color at that, being the protagonist in the end. I find the film Get Out to be a mystery/horror film to be a similar tale of the person of color, or marginalized person being the victor in the end. In the podcast, there are other examples of women and/or people of color being the protagonist of the mysteries, but is this a generally new development that these characters are so well-known and well-liked in pop culture?

    Also, considering protagonists in Knives Out, is Mr. Blanc the main protagonist or is it Marta?

  10. I love, murder mysteries, true crime and learning about serial killers. However, I don’t think any of this makes me special because America is obsessed with murder (if you don’t believe me just refer to the countless tweets about the new Ted Bundy film starring Zac Efron). I want to know if the obession with murder carries through all cultures or is the United States just Macab?

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