terracotta tragic mask CLS 267:
terracotta tragic mask
Topics, Assignments, Notes

I. The Nature of Aesthetic Expression

II. Conditions of Greek Theatrical Performance

September 21-23: Dionysus and Greek Drama; Dramatic Festivals and Competitions

September 23-28: Structure of the Greek Theater; Staging, Actors, Masks

September 30: Tragic Form and Conventions

III. Aeschylus

October 5-14: Agamemnon

October 19-21: Libation-Bearers

October 26-28: Eumenides

PAPER 1 (due November 2): This should be a formal, typed paper. It is a critical and interpretive essay rather than a research paper, but you must use proper methods of quotation and documentation for the play, including full bibliographical information on the text in a “Works Cited” page and citation of line numbers in the paper. It is perfectly acceptable—indeed, I recommend strongly that you do this—to read over and draw ideas from the Speakeasy postings of your fellow students. However, you must give credit to your classmates whenever you use one of their ideas.

Choose one of the Oresteia’s dominant patterns of imagery or themes. Trace the development of this imagistic pattern or theme throughout the trilogy, citing and discussing specific examples from each of the three plays. Obviously you won't be able to cite all the examples in the trilogy, but pick what you feel are the most significant examples in each play. What does this pattern or theme contribute to our understanding of the characters and actions of the trilogy? to the overall meaning of the play? How does it illustrate Susanne Langer's theories about the role of art as expressive of feeling rather than logic?

IV. Sophocles

November 2: Aristotle's Theory of Tragedy and Sophocles' Oedipus the King

November 4-9: Sophocles' Antigone

November 11: Women in Tragedy and Athenian Society

November 16-18: Sophocles’ Women of Trachis

November 23: Euripides’ Electra

November 30-December 2: Euripides’ Medea

December 7: Creative Projects and written character studies due; see syllabus for instructions. Here are examples of the creative projects:

Clytemnestra by Gina Piazza

December 9-14 Euripides’ Bacchae

Final Project will be due on Thursday, December 23, by 4:00 pm.

revised July, 2002
Barbara F. McManus
CLS 267 Syllabus