This course has concessions available

New: Greek Tragedy: From Ritual Drama To Psychology On Stage

This course transports us to the origin of the theatre as we explore the oldest surviving dramas. Greek Tragedy is full of people in extreme situations, and their compelling stories have resonated through the centuries. We will read the tragic plays of Agamemnon, Oedipus, Hecuba, and more, and discuss their original context and continuing relevance, guided by the following questions: Who made the tragedies? Why were they so important? What do they mean to us now? And do they really help explain our psychology?

Available Classes:

Who is this course for

Anyone with an interest in tragic drama, myth, ancient history - especially the relevance of ancient works for today. No prior knowledge required.

What does this course cover

We uncover the perennial lure of tragedy from its origins in ancient Athens to revivals on today's stage. In the process we will discuss plays from each of the three playwrights whose work still survives: Aeschylus' The Persians (a metaphysical history play which sympathises with a hostile army) and Agamemnon (the story of the king who was killed by his wife as soon as he returned from the Trojan War); Sophocles' Oedipus the King (telling us the fate of the man who killed his father and married his mother) and Antigone (the great rebel against a tyrannical state); and Euripides' Hecuba (the Trojan queen now imprisoned by the Greek army) and The Bacchae (a cautionary tale of the risks of denying the intoxications of the god Dionysus).
By the end of the course you should be able to:
- recall the origin of tragic drama
- be familiar with the plots of some of the most well-known Greek tragedies
- understand the appeal of Greek tragedy to psychoanalysts

What will it be like

Teaching methods include tutor presentations, use of handouts and PowerPoint presentations, reading aloud, group work, class discussion, and student presentations. Students will be assessed by individual learning plans and class participation.

What else do you need to buy or do

Extracts from the essential texts will be supplied. You will be encouraged to read as widely as you wish, using local libraries or following a supplied list of recommended texts. You may wish to bring a pad and pen for note-taking.

What this course could lead to

Other Humanities courses at Mary Ward Centre or elsewhere.

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This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

Why come to Mary Ward Centre?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference.   We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’