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Tragedy

GREEK 582

Tragedy

  • Course ID:GREEK 582
  • Semesters:1
  • Department:Classics
  • Teachers:Tom Cox

Description and Objectives

This course will read through Sophocles Antigone. We will also read through, in English, Aeschylus’s Seven Against Thebes and Euripides’s Medea. In comparing the three greatest tragedians, we will explore the answers to basic human questions about suffering, fate, the will of the gods, knowledge of the future, and the limitation of human nature.

We will also look at how these stories are changed by each author and the nature of story-telling through what’s left of Aristotle’s Poetics. Students will come away from this class with a deeper appreciation of one of the greatest Greek gifts to the western mind: tragic drama.

Textbooks

Course Requirements

Every Monday will be built on some memory work, which will also show up on the final. The remainder of the grade will comprise the weekly translation quizzes on the material covered that week. Every night that an English reading is assigned, the students should expect a quiz the following day to precede as well as lay the groundwork for a fruitful class discussion.

Successful Students

Re-reading is the foundation of understanding great works of literature. One read isn’t enough even when we’re fluent in the language, which we are not in the case of Ancient Greek. A successful student is one who re-reads parts of the passage from the previous night to connect it to that night’s passage. Furthermore, he will explore more deeply the word choice, meter, structure, and characterization with each re-read.