Greek Drama: Theater and Social Justice, Ancient and Modern|
Spring 2020 not offered
This course introduces students to Greek drama as produced in its original setting in ancient Athens and then adapted in modern times. The majority of our readings will be drawn from classical material: tragedies by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, comedies by Aristophanes, and selections from Aristotle's Poetics and Plato's Republic. We will look at production practices, acting and audience experience, and the role of theater in shaping cultural values. Questions will include: How does theater as art reflect the personal, social, and political life of the Athenians? What is the connection between the development of Greek drama and the growth of the first democracy? What are the emotions of tragedy ¿ for its mythic characters and for its real audience? And why have we been talking about catharsis for centuries? What is the relationship between emotions, drama, and social justice? For the last part of the semester, we will turn to adaptations of Greek tragedy in the 20th and 21st centuries by Jean-Paul Sartre, Bertolt Brecht, Sarah Kane, and Yael Farber. We will discuss how the dilemmas and emotions of tragedy are replayed in response to World War II, the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, PTSD, and consumer culture, among others.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CCIV)(CLAS)(THEA)
Plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes.
Selections from Plato's REPUBLIC and Aristotle's POETICS.
Plays by J-P. Sartre, B. Brecht, Y. Farber, Sarah Kane
Selections from Brecht's SHORT ORGANUM FOR THE THEATER and Sartre's writings on existentialism and the emotions.
Readings of background material on the class website may also be required.
|Examination and Assignments: |
Students will be responsible for the readings mentioned above (about two or three plays a week or the equivalent & secondary readings).
Two in-class exams, one final in-class exam or a final project (e.g. adaptation or production of a play) at the instructor's discretion, and occasional short reading responses.