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CL2301 Athenian Drama

Athenian Drama

Module Organiser: Dr. Martine Cuypers
Duration:One Term (Sep - Dec)
Contact Hours:19 (16 lectures and 3 seminars)
Weighting: 5 ECTS
Assessment: 20% continuous assessment (one written assignment), 80% end-of-year examination (or equivalent depending on the chosen combination of modules)

Overview and Aims:

This module provides an introduction to fifth century Athenian drama. We will examine selected plays of the tragedians Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, and of the comedians Aristophanes and Menander, as well as other relevant texts, such as Aristotle’s Poetics. Topics to be discussed include the divine, fate and responsibility; the origins of drama; the Aristotelian analysis of tragedy; performance aspects; the organisation of dramatic competitions; the function of drama in the context of religious festivals and the democratic city-state; the use of drama as source of historical information.

Prescribed Texts:

This module covers a broad range of primary texts. Texts to be studied and translations to be used are specified in the module handbook.

Introductory Reading

  • Scodel, R., An Introduction to Greek Tragedy (Cambridge 2010)
  • Storey, I.C. and Allan, A. A Guide to Ancient Greek Drama (Blackwell 2005).
  • Easterling P.E. (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Greek Tragedy (1997).
  • Gregory, Justina (ed.). A Companion to Greek Tragedy (Blackwell 2005).
  • Sommerstein, A.H. Greek Drama and Dramatists (Routledge 2002).

Learning Outcomes:

Upon the successful completion of this module students should be able to demonstrate:

  • Familiarity with the content and major themes of all prescribed texts
  • Ability to comment on key extracts from these texts
  • Ability to situate the texts in their 5th c. BCE Athenian (performance) context and comment on the relevance of this context for their interpretation
  • Global knowledge of the origins and history of Athenian tragedy and comedy as genres and their reception from antiquity to the present

Last updated 18 August 2016