Value: 1 unit = 30 credits Prerequisites: none Course delivery



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CL2442
Greek Drama 2016-17
Taught by: Dr. Richard Hawley
Value: 1 unit = 30 credits Prerequisites: none
Course delivery

  • One hour lecture + one hour seminar per week. I shall divide you up into groups at the start of term. Please note: the timetable shows two seminar groups – you will be allocated to ONE of these. I shall ask for your preferences and for valid timetable clashes at the first session. I shall try to accommodate preferences, but as the seminars have to be roughly the same size, this may not always be possible.

  • Students will be expected to work several hours per week outside class in advance of the seminars, using translations of selected plays, seminar worksheets, recommended scholarship, and extra resources available on the course Moodle page.

  • Dr. Hawley will deliver all the lectures and seminars himself.


Course content

We shall cover the wide range of surviving classical Athenian dramas, with a focus on tragedy in the first term and comedy in the second. Authors studied will therefore be: Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes and Menander, with a look at Aristotle and other ancient literary critics on drama.

We shall consider the following for example:


  • Drama's engagement with contemporary politics

  • Literary and philosophical influences (e.g. Homeric epic, sophistic thought, political philosophy)

  • Characterisation

  • Plot and structure

  • Stagecraft (props, costume, machinery etc.)

  • The presentation of social groups: aristocratic elite, women, the elderly vs. the young, the farming community, prostitutes

  • Types of comedy, types of audience: political satire, literary parody

  • The development of comic drama from Aristophanes to Menander

  • Theorising drama: Aristotle and other ancient literary critics on tragedy and comedy





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