CLSS-261 Greek Tragedy
Fall for 2015-2016
This course examines Greek tragedy in its cultural setting, the polis of fifth-century Athens. At the heart
of an important religious festival, the Greater Dionysia, tragedy was a prism that refracted complicated layers within Athenians’ understanding of themselves, their gods, and their past. Students read plays by the three extant tragedians, Aeschylus,Sophocles, and Euripides, as well as selections from modern scholarship selected to introduce major critical perspectives on Attic tragedy. Two primary goals for students are first, to understand the form and conventions of Attic tragedy as an illustration of how a genre constrains its artists and how they in turn work within such constraints to create great art follow;
and second, develop an understanding of the tragic visions of the three playwrights, including how each
represents markers of Athenian norms and attitudes, such as women, youths and the aged, and warriors.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
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