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Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies (CAMS)

CAMS 411W Classical Drama (3) Masterpieces of Greek tragedy (Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides) and comedy (Aristophanes, Menander); their influence on Roman writers.

CAMS 411W Classical Drama (3)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

The aim of this course is to read, interpret, discuss, and write about the best known and most influential examples of classical drama (in English translation). Students will become conversant with the formal and thematic aspects of Greek tragedy and comedy. (The course could also include a module devoted to Roman adaptations of Greek drama.) The Greek playwrights to be read are Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Menander. (Roman playwrights would include Plautus, Terence and Seneca.) The objectives of this course include learning how to read, analyze, and interpret tragedy and comedy within a literary, cultural, and historical framework that is fundamentally different from our own. At the same time as students come to grip with the cultural differences of Greek drama, they will be invited to ponder why these texts are still relevant to modern readers and audiences. The second objective of this course is to give students a forum in which they may reenact the critical debates and dramatic conflicts that characterize the ancient Greek theater. Class time will be devoted to structured discussion on set topics. Toward the end of the semester students will give 15-minute presentations on different aspects of classical drama that illuminate the texts read in class: for example, the design of Greek theaters and ancient theatrical production, the religious and civic functions of tragedy, gender roles, tragic and comic heroism, myth, rhetoric, philosophy, and the legacy of Greek tragedy and comedy in the modern world. The third objective of the course is to focus on developing critical writing skills and communicating clearly with readers. Students will write six papers of varying length (three papers in two drafts) and two essay exams (mid-term and final). The process of writing will provide a vehicle for close-reading and critical interpretation of classical drama. Students will also learn in classroom discussion and in feedback from the instructor and other students that critical writing entails drafting ideas and revising them. Finally, participants will learn how to write properly documented and well-argued research papers.


General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: Humanities
Effective: Spring 2001

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.

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