Tragedy and Theatre Writing
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 28 June 2024
30 March 2022
Requisites for this module
BA WW80 Drama and Creative Writing,
BA WW81 Drama and Creative Writing (Including Foundation Year),
BA WW82 Drama and Creative Writing (including Placement Year),
BA WW83 Drama and Creative Writing (including Year Abroad)
'We are not looking for a new universal meaning of tragedy. We are looking for the structure of tragedy in our own culture.'
Raymond Williams, Modern Tragedy.
This module examines the idea of Tragedy in the theatre, tracing its development from classical Greek tragedy to the present day. The module concentrates on the structure of Tragedy and investigates ways in which it has developed over time and how it influences current ideas about contemporary plays.
The texts that have been chosen both acknowledge and question the influence of Aristotle's Poetics. The module explores the extent to which Aristotle's theories still articulate enduringly useful ideas about tragedy; and the extent to which they have been modified, altered, played with and rejected by playwrights over the ages. We ask whether there is an essential and timeless set of qualities that constitutes 'tragic drama', or whether notions of 'tragedy' are contingent on social and historical circumstances. We look at private and domestic tragedies, as well as public and political tragedies from different periods, examining the connection between the two.
The module investigates how playwrights have adapted tragic forms and structures to make theatre that explores suffering and catastrophe. Using Aristotle's Poetics as its starting-point, the Module also explores what the effect is on an audience member watching a tragic play.
Module content note: topics may include suicide/racism/sexual violence/violence Please contact the module supervisor if you have any questions.
The aims of this module are:
1. To equip students with the appropriate analytical skills to enable them to understand three aspects of the tragic form.
2. To examine in detail nine tragedies that range from Ancient Greek tragedies to contemporary tragedies.
3. To equip students with an understanding of Aristotle’s ideas about the ‘peripiteia’ and the ‘anagnorises’.
4. To equip students with an understanding of Aristotle’s ideas about ‘Hubris’ and ‘Hamartia’
At the end of the module, students will:
1. Have developed a critical understanding of Aristotle’s ideas about the way a tragic plot can be constructed
2. Be able to understand and use the terms: anagnorises, peripiteia, hubris and hamartia appropriately
3. Be able to identify and critically evaluate three plays that do not conform to Aristotle’s ideas
4. Have developed a critical understanding and analysed the nine tragedies on the reading list.
No additional information available.
Anticipated teaching delivery: Weekly 2-hour seminars
We will offer a mixture of tailored online, digital, and campus-based teaching where it may be possible and as appropriate, along with personalised one-to-one consultation with academic staff.
This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.
Assessment items, weightings and deadlines
|Coursework / exam
||Formative assessment during class (week 8)
||Autumn term essay
||Practical writing project (an original tragedy, or scenes from a tragedy, (20-30 mins duration) plus a critical commentary of 1,500 words)
Exam format definitions
- Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
- In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
- In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
- In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary,
for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.
Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Jonathan Lichtenstein, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Professor Jonathan Lichtenstein
LiFTS General Office - email email@example.com.
Telephone 01206 872626
Dr Christina Papagiannouli
University of South Wales
Available via Moodle
Of 18 hours, 18 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.
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