Course Code
LITS 0320
Course Type
Subject Credit
Course Availability

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