What is the course about?
Read view and discuss three classic plays:Othello by Shakespeare, Uncle Vanya by Chekhov and Agamemnon from The Oresteia by Aeschylus in terms of themes, language,and social and historical contexts and how they work as performance texts.
What will we cover?
1 Dramatic elements such as structure, language ,dialogue, characterisation and use of dramatic irony
2 What the plays reveal about social, political and historical conditions at the time of their writing.
3 How the plays work in performance and how different interpretations shed light on different aspects of the play.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
Demonstrate a fuller appreciation of the language of the plays
Appreciate the ability of the dramatic form to deal with major aspects of the human condition.
Have a greater understanding of the political, historical and social nature of the society in which the different plays were written.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Some experience of the study of dramatic text would be useful.
Learners will ideally need the following skills and attributes
An enthusiasm for reading and discussing a range of texts in large and small groups
A willingness and ability to do some reading and preparation outside the class
An interest in, and ability to listen to, the responses of other students to the work discussed.
A commitment to acquiring and developing ways of understanding how the writer uses language to achieve effect.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
A variety of teaching methods will be used including tutor lecture,, large and small group discussion ,text reading and the viewing of play extracts on film.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You will need to buy copies of the texts to be studied:
Uncle Vanya (Penguin classics include all the major plays)
The Oresteia (Oxford World Classics).
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
See other literature courses under Humanities in the prospectus and under History, Culture and Writing on the
web at www.citylit.ac.uk.