4 Ways Classic Literature Finds its Way into the Whedonverse


In the humanities department, Dr. Lisa Perdigao takes a non-traditional approach to teaching classic literature by exploring the works of Joss Whedon’s Whedonvers and how they connect to society and literature. “Whedon’s works are incredibly self-conscious and self-reflexive, constantly revealing their sources and ideas about what storytelling can—and perhaps should—do,” says Perdigao.

  1. Brothers Grimm’s
    According to Perdigao, Whedon’s first series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, heavily draws upon German fairy tales — “perhaps most notably the critically-acclaimed season four episode “Hush,” she says.
  2. Mary Shelley
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes featured a revision of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and a Dracula-inspired season five episode “Buffy vs. Dracula.”
  3. Charles Dickens
    Whedon’s return to the classics extends beyond specific television plots, his narratives share similarities with works of serial fiction, particularly the work of Charles Dickens,” says Perdigao.
  4. William Shakespeare
    Whedon might best be known for directing the Avengers, but during the same time period he wrote and directed the Shakespearean cotemporary comedy, Much Ado About Nothing. This passion project connected the Whedonverse family of actors from past series with Whedon’s love of classic literature.

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