Is nurturing the subversive comic impluse in expression vital to a democracy? This speaking-instructive dramatic literature coures examines the comic tradition in U.S. dramatic writing, focusing primarily on how democratic principles and ideals have been represented. One primary topic to be considered involves the ways that comic plays, whether overtly or subversively, can serve as a contributing factor to stimulate political change in a democracy. A range of plays from early national to contempory will be read and discuseed to draw conclusions about features of a democracy and what it means to be a citizen of a democracy. The plays will also serve as the basis for oral presentations.