COMP 270 Spring 2013 Performing Greece and Rome

Cross Listed as THEA262, CLAS262
This course explores the fluidity of genres by focusing on tragedy and comedy. Each began as a grafted thing, a hybrid, a fusion of poetic, musical and dance genres previously developed for a variety of occasions outside the Theater of Dionysus. Fusion continued to energize both genres, and we will attend to its effects as we read several tragedies by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides and comedies by Aristophanes from fifth-century Athens; a comedy by Menander from the early post-Alexandrian Greek world; comedies by Plautus and Terence from republican Rome; and a tragedy by Seneca from the imperial Rome of Nero. We will also read short selections from (or read about) the genres out of which tragedy and comedy were created and re-created, and into which they sometimes made their own incursions (e.g., heroic epic, women's laments, choral and solo lyric poetry, wisdom poetry, oratory, philosophical texts, histories, mime, farce, various kinds of dance, music and visual arts). We will especially attend to the ways tragedy and comedy inflected one another. Critical readings, along with modern productions of ancient tragedies and comedies, will guide us as we consider all these generic exchanges in light of changing conditions and occasions of theatrical performance, other public spectacles shaping the expectations of theater audiences, and the development of writing and reading as modes of performance.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on participation in class, several very short essays, and two longer essays, one of which may be replaced by an original script, design project, musical composition, or live performance
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Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: if oversubscribed, preference given to majors or prospective majors in Classics, Theatre, Comparative Literature, English or an other literature, and to students engaged in performing or studio arts
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Divisional Attributes: Division I
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Enrollment Limit: 15
Expected Enrollment: 10
Class Number: 3320
COMP270-01(S) SEM Performing Greece and Rome Division 1: Languages and the Arts Meredith C. Hoppin
TR 11:20 AM-12:35 PM Hollander 140 3320
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