Fall 2021 Undergraduate English Courses

358:240 Introduction to Dramatic Literature

01  CAC  MW 1:00-2:20 pm    14748    BUCKLEY    ONLINE

This course will offer a broad and wide-ranging investigation of western drama from classical times to the present, with particular emphasis on learning how to read and understand dramatic literature as a form and in its context.  We will focus on primary works by several of the most prominent and influential playwrights in history, including, among others, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Seneca, William Shakespeare, Molière, Georg Büchner, Henrik Ibsen, August Strindberg, and Caryl Churchill.  We will examine each of the great works we read formally and within its particular historical moment, looking at the changing relations between theatre and society, the role of theatrical performance in defining personal and communal identity, and the manner in which these major plays relate personal action to larger social and political issues.  Considered until modern times to be the pre-eminent poetic form, and emerging once again in our own time as a crucial artistic mode, dramatic literature is an essential, foundational part of literary history and culture.  This course is a starting point for its study.