Greek and Roman Drama (CLA2006)
|Staff|| - Lecturer|
|Duration of Module||Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;|
On the basis of a selection of texts in English translationâ??Greek and Roman tragedies and comedies from Aeschylus to Senecaâ??we attempt to come to a general understanding of the origin and development of ancient drama, the importance of types of plot and character, the relationship of drama with society and the emotional effect of tragedy.
We study Athenian tragedy of the fifth century BC over a period of some sixty years, paying attention both to the texts of the plays and the way they develop with time and in line with changes in the city. Complementary study of the very different tragedy of Seneca (first century AD) raises issues of text, performance and the cultural setting of drama.
We study comedy, considering the place of Greek Old Comedy (for example Aristophanes) in the Athenian democratic city, and ways in which it differed from the New Comedy of the late fourth century (for example Menander). Roman approaches to comedy (plays by Plautus and Terence) are investigated.
The module builds on the Greek and Roman Narrative module, CLA1005.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. On the completion of this module, students should be able to describe and analyse (a) the development of Greek tragedy and comedy in the fifth and fourth centuries BC and (b) Roman comedy and Senecan tragedy
- 2. They should also be able to read critically individual works within a specific genre
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 3. Students should demonstrate an ability to distinguish and assess critically literature in a foreign culture and to place that literature in its cultural context, an ability to place drama in the context of the theatre, and to be able to comment on aspects of its theatricality
- 4. An ability to place drama in the context of the theatre
- 5. To be able to comment on some aspects of its theatricality
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 4. Students should demonstrate a capacity for independent judgement, an ability to work in a seminar team, and an ability to present work in written form with a strong and coherent argument
- 7. An ability to work in a seminar team
- 8. An ability to present work in written form with a coherent argument
Introduction and orientation
The origin of tragedy and Euripides' Bacchae
Festival and theatre
Tragedy and ritual
Tragedy and politics
Tragedy and gender
Aeschlus' Persians and the anonymous Prometheus Bound
Sophocles Electra and Euripides Electra
Comic authors, plots and themes
Genre II: what is comedy?
The ancient sense(s) of humour
Sex and obscenity
The politics of comedy
Comedies of ideas: Clouds and Frogs
Metatheatre and gender: The Poet and the Women
The sociology of comedy
New Comedy: ancient (and modern) soap opera
New Comedy: character, ethics and human relationships
Comic myth: Amphitryo
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||44||Lectures (22 x 2 hours)|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||8||Seminars (8 x 1 hour)|
|Guided independent study||248||Independent study|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Oral contribution to seminar||Weekly||1-7||Verbal feedback|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Written assignment||20||1000 words||1-6, 8||Written and oral feedback|
|Essay||30||2500 words||1-6, 8||Written and oral feedback|
|Exam||50||2 hours||1-6, 8||Written and oral feedback|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Written assignment||Written asignment||1-6, 8||ref/def period|
|Essay||Essay||1-6, 8||ref/def period|
|Exam||Exam||1-6, 8||ref/def period|
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
1. Indicative primary texts:
Aeschylus, Persians and Prometheus Bound; Sophocles, Antigone and Electra; Euripides, Hippolytus, Electra,and Bacchae; Seneca, Phaedra; Aristophanes, Lysistrata, Acharnians, Clouds, The Poet and the Women and Frogs; Menander, The Bad-Tempered Man and The Girl from Samos; Terence, The Brothers; Plautus, The Rope and Amphitryo; N.B. Teaching, seminars and examinations will be based on the following prescribed translations: Aeschylus: (Collard Oxford World's Classics); Sophocles: (Kitto, Oxford World's Classics); Euripides: (Morwood, Oxford World's Classics); Seneca: Four Tragedies and Octavia (Watling, Penguin Classics); Aristophanes: Lysistrata and Other Plays (Sommerstein, Penguin), The Wasps and Other Plays (Barrett, Penguin); Menander: The Plays and Fragments (Balme, Oxford World's Classics); Terence: The Comedies (Radice, Penguin); Plautus: The Rope and Other Plays (Watling, Penguin).
2. Selected introductory reading:
P.E.Easterling (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Greek Tragedy (Cambridge 1997) M. Wright, Euripides' Escape Tragedies (Oxford, 2005) O. Taplin, Greek Tragedy in Action (London, 1978) R. Rehm, The Greek Tragic Theatre (London, 1992) A. Pickard-Cambridge, The Dramatic Festivals of Athens (ed. 2, Oxford 1968) Aristotle, Poetics, translated by Malcolm Heath (Penguin Classics: Harmondsworth,1996) K. Dover, Aristophanic Comedy (Berkeley 1974) M. Silk, Aristophanes and the Invention of Comedy (Oxford 2000) W.G. Arnott, Menander, Plautus, Terence (Greece and Rome New Surveys in the Classics no 9) N. Zagagi, The Comedy of Menander (London 1994).
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Classics, Greek, Roman, Drama