Greek Tragedy (CLAM009)

StaffProfessor Matthew Wright - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15.00
NQF Level7
Pre-requisitesThose of entry to the MA programme
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The module aims to produce advanced understanding of the language, style and significance of Greek tragedy by close study of selected plays. The plays are chosen from the three extant fifth-century tragedians.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the language, style and content of the plays studied
  • 2. describe in detail and provide an advanced analysis of the form and significance of the genre of Greek tragedy

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. demonstrate advanced linguistic mastery of ancient Greek
  • 4. enhanced critical and interpretative skills
  • 5. the ability to locate literary texts in their cultural context

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. show a capacity for sustained independent analysis of literary texts in a foreign (ancient) language
  • 7. capacity to discuss the content and form of these texts with peers and instructor

Syllabus plan

22 two-hour seminars, with instructor and students exploring closely the Greek texts and their significance. Seminars focused on key passages throughout plays, with instructor and students sharing in translation, interpretation and discussion.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities4422 x 2 hour seminars
Guided independent study256Private study

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Examination603 hours1-7Mark and written or verbal comments
Essay 1203000 word1-7Mark, written comments and verbal feedback session
Essay 2203000 word1-7Mark, written comments and verbal feedback session

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
ExamExam1-7Ref/def period
Essay 1Essay 11-7Ref/def period
Essay 2Essay 21-7Ref/def period

Re-assessment notes

Normally by exam and/or coursework essays

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading


1. Prescribed texts:


D. Raeburn and O. Thomas (eds.), The Agamemnonof Aeschylus (Oxford University Press, 2011).


R.D. Dawe (ed.), Oedipus Rex: Revised Edition (Cambridge University Press, 2006).


C.W. Willink (ed.), Euripides: Orestes (Oxford University Press, 1986).


M. Heath, Aristotle: Poetics (Penguin Classics, 1996: this text will be studied mainly in English translation).


A detailed reading plan and secondary bibliography will be supplied by the module lecturer.




2. Selected further reading


The Cambridge Companion to Greek Tragedy (ed. P.E.Easterling, Cambridge 1997)


E. Csapo and W. Slater, The Context of Ancient Drama (Ann Arbor, 1995).


P. Easterling (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Greek Tragedy (Cambridge, 1997).


A. Markantonatos (ed.), Brill's Companion to Sophocles (Leiden, 2012).


J. Mossman (ed.), Oxford Readings in Euripides (Oxford, 2003).


R. Rutherford, Greek Tragic Style (Cambridge, 2012).


M.E. Wright, Euripides: Orestes (London, 2008).


Module has an active ELE page?


Available as distance learning?


Last revision date


Key words search

Greek texts, Greek plays, Greek, Tragedy