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LITS 0320 Tragedy

The course explores the nature and forms of tragedy – one of the foundational literary modes of western culture since antiquity. From the earliest statements about tragic theory as set down by Aristotle and embodied in Greek drama, to a reconsideration of tragedy during the English and French Renaissance, key examples of the form are studied in order to ascertain the meaning of tragedy and the various ways in which it sought expression.

Sample Topics:

  • Aristotle, Poetics
  • Aeschylus, Oresteia
  • Euripides, The Trojan Women
  • Sophocles, Theban Plays
  • Webster, The Duchess of Malfi
  • Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
  • Corneille, Le Cid
  • Racine, Phèdre


 Introductory Reading:

  • Draper, R., Tragedy: Developments in Criticism. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 1980
  • Easterling, P.E., ed., The Cambridge Companion to Greek Tragedy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997
  • Poole, A., Tragedy: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005
Thankful for every moment
I devoured the integral lectures, the seminars, the tea and biscuits, and the charming streets of Oxford. Aided by my tutors, my passion for the human...
Mike Rectenwald, Summer 2000, Geneva College