THES621: Classical Receptions in Drama - Ανοικτό Πανεπιστήμιο Κύπρου - Open University of Cyprus
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THES621: Classical Receptions in Drama

Module Purpose and Objectives

In this module, students will become acquainted with the reception (or survival) of ancient drama in modern years. Emphasis is placed on various ways in which modern and contemporary literature (primarily dramatic literature) hosts, receives and converses with the great figures and myths of ancient Greek drama and, secondarily, Roman drama.

This module focuses on the thorough study of twelve literary works (mostly plays of the 20th and early 21st c.) which pronouncedly engage in intertextual dialogue with the theatre of antiquity.

Module Content

  • M. Pontikas’ play LaiusMurderer and the Crows
  • Understanding the dramatic composition of M. Pontikas’ play and offering a documented analysis of it
  • Identifying the play’s intertextual relations (including main convergences and divergences) with the myth of the Labdacids
  • Analyzing the problematic underlying substance of articulate speech as shown in Pontikas’ play
  • I. Kambanellis’ play Thebes Byway
  • Understanding the dramatic composition of M. Pontikas’ play and offering a documented analysis
  • Identifying the play’s intertextual relations (including main convergences and divergences) with the myth of the Labdacids
  • Description and interpretation of the function of comical or trivial elements in Kambanellis’ play
  • H. von Kleist’s play The Broken Jug
  • Understanding the dramatic composition of von Kleist’s play and offering a documented analysis of it
  • Identifying the play’s intertextual relations (including main convergences and divergences) with the myth of the Labdacids
  • Analyzing the problematic underlying substance of rational thought as shown in von Kleist’s play, and identifying elements of social satire and denouncement
  • Acquaintance with the basic aspects of Atreid myth, especially in its tragic versions
  • I. Kambanellis’ plays Letters to Orestes and The Supper
  • Understanding the dramatic composition of Kambanellis’ two plays and offering a documented analysis of it
  • Identifying the plays’ intertextual relations (including main convergences and divergences) with Atreid myth
  • Basic information about the American Civil War, as mirrored in Eugene O’Neill’s trilogy Mourning Becomes Electra
  • Eugene O’Neill’s trilogy Mourning Becomes Electra
  • Understanding the dramatic composition of O’Neill’s play and offering a documented analysis of it, foregrounding its constitutive elements (Homecoming, The Hunted, The Haunted)
  • Identifying the play’s intertextual relations (including main convergences and divergences) with Atreid myth
  • Understanding the core principles of the philosophical current of Existentialism, particularly in its French version (Sartre, Camus)
  • Jean-Paul Sartre’s play Les Mouches
  • Understanding the dramatic composition of Sartre’s play and offering a documented analysis of it
  • Identifying the play’s intertextual relations (including main convergences and divergences) with Atreid myth
  • Identifying, in Sartre’s play, the main points that correlate with Existentialist philosophy as well as with the historical context within which the play had been written and performed (German occupation, Vichy Regime)
  • T.S. Eliot’s play Family Reunion
  • Understanding the dramatic composition of O’Neill’s play and offering a documented analysis of it
  • Identifying the play’s intertextual relations (including main convergences and divergences) with Atreid myth
  • Identifying, in the play, elements of modernist writing and engagement with the writer’s Christian faith
  • Jean Giraudoux’s play Electra
  • Understanding the dramatic composition of Giraudoux’s play and offering a documented analysis of it
  • Identifying the play’s intertextual relations (including main convergences and divergences) with Atreid myth
  • Identifying, in the play, elements of modernist writing and engagement with the Epicurean philosophy but also with the historical context of the time (rise of Nazism and fascism)
  • Discussing the intertextual relations of Giraudoux’s play with Atreid myth and particularly with Sophocles’ and Euripides’ Electra
  • Pavlos Matesis’ play The Roar
  • Understanding the dramatic composition of Matesis’ play and offering a documented analysis of it
  • Identifying the play’s intertextual relations (including main convergences and divergences) with Atreid myth in the context of the aesthetics of parody
  • Discussing the intertextual relations of Matesis’ play with Atreid myth and particularly with Sophocles’ and Euripides’ Electra
  • Identifying elements of parody, satire, irony and deconstruction of the tragic myth
  • Marguerite Yourcenar’s Electra or The Fall of the Masks
  • Understanding the dramatic composition of Yourcenar’s play and offering a documented analysis of it
  • Identifying the play’s intertextual relations (including main convergences and divergences) with Atreid myth in the context of the play’s modernist, revisionist perspective
  • Discussing the intertextual relations of Yourcenar’s play with Atreid myth and particularly with Sophocles’ and Euripides’ Electra
  • Knowledge and understanding of basic information about Roman drama, theatrical spaces, tragedy and comedy during the period of the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire
  • Seneca’s Phaedra
  • Understanding the dramatic composition of Seneca’s play and offering a documented analysis of it
  • Identifying the play’s main convergences with and divergences from the myth of Hippolytus and Phaedra, as demonstrated in Euripides
  • Racine’s Phèdre
  • Understanding the dramatic composition of Racine’s play and offering a documented analysis of it
  • Identifying the play’s main convergences with and divergences from the myth of Hippolytus and Phaedra, as demonstrated in Euripides and Seneca

Additional Info

  • Κωδικός / Course Code: THES621
  • ECTS: 15
  • Τρόποι Αξιολόγησης / Assessment:

    10% interactive educational activities, 30% written assignments and 60% final examination

  • Διάρκεια Φοίτησης/ Length of Study: Εξαμηνιαία (εαρινό)/ Semi-annual (spring)
  • Κόστος/ Tuition Fees: 675 euro
  • Επίπεδο Σπουδών/ Level: Μεταπτυχιακό/ Postgraduate