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CLST 300


The advanced study of a specific topic in Mediterranean civilizations or literature. Recent courses have treated such topics as Plato on Love and Pleasure, Gender in the Greek and Roman World, Damnation and Salvation, Socrates--The Mind and the Myth, Great Archaeological Discoveries, Greek and Roman Law, and Ancient History and Film. May be repeated for credit with topic changes. Information on upcoming topics courses can be found on the departmental Web page.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course

Spring Semester information

Keith Nightenhelser

300A: Tps:Ancient Greek Drama

Tps:Ancient Greek Drama

We will study intensively two dozen plays drawn from the roughly fifty plays that survive complete from Fifth and Fourth century BCE Greek Theater, both tragedies and comedies, by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Aristophanes, Euripides, and Menander. The plays will be considered both in their original context, where they formed part of the public discourse of ancient Athens, reflecting the community to itself, and in their afterlife in European and global performance and adaptation. We will look at the plays' place in Greek literary, rhetorical, political, religious, and philosophical traditions, and as challenges for theater artists then and since that time (how make a play with a big chorus? with masks? in the huge spaces and before the huge audiences of ancient theaters? with no curtain, during the bright of the day? with alternating passages of spoken dialogue and song and dance? as part of a civic religious festival? and so on). There will be ample opportunity to explore how the plays draw on, modify, and add to the stock of traditional myths and tales shared by the Greeks. The plays often employ those to explore conflicts in Greek society about male and female social and familial roles, and many of the same stories inspired 20th century reflection in Freudian and Jungian psychoanalysis and in structuralist thought on general processes of the mind, As time permits we'll look into these recent sex/gender/psychoanalytic/structuralist issues as well.

As a prerequisite students should have taken at least one course about ancient Greece, or one Theater course.

There will be a Tuesday morning lab session to watch films of productions, but it won't meet every week.