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Syllabus

SET TEXTS (2015–16)

  • Aeschylus, The Oresteia, trans. C. Collard, Oxford 2008

  • Sophocles, Antigone and Oedipus the King in The Three Theban Plays, trans. R. Fagles, Penguin 1984
    Ajax, Electra, and Philoctetes in Electra and Other Plays, trans. D. Raeburn, Penguin 2008

  • Euripides, Medea and Hippolytus in Alcestis and Other Plays, trans. J. Davie, Penguin 1996
    Electra and Trojan Women in Electra and Other Plays, trans. J. Davie, Penguin 1998
    Bacchae in The Bacchae and Other Plays, trans. J. Davie, Penguin 2006


Term 1
[no lectures week 1]

Week 2 Introduction. Athenian Tragedy, Interpretation, Contexts: Emotion, Politics, and Performance Culture

Week 3–7: Aeschylus, Oresteia

Week 3 Choices, Actions, Consequences
Week 4 Dikê: Reasoning, Justice, Judgement
Week 5 Women and Gender: from Helen to Athena

[Week 6 Reading Week]

Week 7 Trilogies, Aetiologies, Athens

+ [Week 8] Aeschylus seminars: close-reading and literary interpretation

Weeks 8–10 Sophocles

Week 8 Homeric Heroism and Athens: Sophocles Ajax
Week 9 Following the Aeschylean Model? Sophocles Electra
Week 10 Standing up to the State? Sophocles Antigone

Term 2

Weeks 1–2 Sophocles, continued

Week 1 Detecting Disaster: Sophocles Oedipus the King
Week 2 The Pain of Sophistry: Sophocles Philoctetes

Weeks 3–9 Euripides

Week 3 The Euripidean Universe: Divinity, Sophistry, and the Tragic Plot

+ Sophocles seminars: close-reading and literary interpretation

Week 4 A Woman Scorned: Euripides Medea
Week 5 Divinity, Ethics, and Communication: Euripides Hippolytus

[Week 6 Reading Week]

Week 7 Dramatic Self-Consciousness and the Tragic Tradition: Euripides Electra
Week 8 No Glory in War: Euripides Trojan Women
Week 9 The Dangers of Dionysos: Euripides Bacchae
+ Euripides seminars: close-reading and literary interpretation

Week 10 Sophocles & Euripides: General Discussion

Term 3
Weeks 1 & 2 Consolidation and Revision: Gobbets and Exam Essays

Acropolis Small