BEA – An Introduction to Greek Tragedy

February 21, 2020 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

This course by Anne Everest will look at the development of Greek drama and its historical context and influence on later European literature, with particular reference to the work of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. There will be three sessions of two hours, and a general interest in literature and history are the only requirements.

We shall look specifically at excerpts from an English version of the following plays: Prometheus Bound, Oedipus Rex, Antigone, Hippolytus, Medea and The Bacchae.

1. The course will start by looking at the development of early drama, with an introduction to Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. We shall consider Aristotle’s analysis of tragedy and several stories from Greek tragedy. This session will include a synopsis of Prometheus Bound and some more in-depth reading of extracts (in English).

2. The second session will begin with an examination of the historical context in which Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides were writing (5th century BCE) followed by some exploration of passages from Oedipus Rex and Antigone in English, as well as from Euripides’ Hippolytus. We shall also look at the role of women in Greek society as reflected in Greek tragedy

3. The third session will include an exploration of Euripides’ Medea and Bacchae, with particular reference to the concept of the tragic hero. We shall also look at the role of the foreigner in Athenian society as reflected in their drama. We shall finish with a discussion of the legacy of Greek tragedy and its influence on European dramatists like Racine, Marlowe and Shakespeare, etc.