Classic Dramas

Half Year Course – Spring; 90 minutes

Learning from the great writers ...

This class approaches drama as literature with an emphasis on the playwright’s use of setting, symbols, characterization, and style.  The goal is to understand the structure, limitations, and art of drama as literature.  By studying Greek and Modern Drama, the class will have a good foundation for appreciating all dramas. Students will have to write both critical essays and creative pieces. Students will need the editions listed on the book list because we will be reading aloud significant portion of the play.   This especially applies to the Theban plays which have been translated by many writers many times.  Having the same edition is a must.  These dramas do NOT need to be read over the summer.

Students will read and respond to literary criticisms available through the library data bases. Computer access is a must for this course.

This class is a thinking class.  It is not a lecture-based course.  Students will be asked to make connections between works, to imitate style, to create projects reflecting the theme, to find critical essays, and to synthesize the works to American culture.  This is an advanced level class requiring an advanced level of maturity due to the mature nature in some of the works.  This is an excellent preparatory class for college level literature classes. Grading:  Students are graded on effort as much as ability.  Since this is the first thinking course that some students have taken, I allow students to explore various avenues without the fear of failing.  Effort is the key.  I find it easy to tell when students have waited till the last minute and dashed off an assignment.  I do not have a cache of knowledge that I expect students to memorize.  Instead, they need to think.  I do give a final essay exam that incorporates all the works studied.

Prerequisite(s): N/A


  • Sophocles The Theban Plays. Penguin Books. ISBN: 13: 978-0-486-45049-0 (Because this is a translation and we will be reading this aloud, students must have the same copy and edition listed.)
    The Theban Plays include the following:
    • King Oedipus
    • Oedipus at Colonus
    • Antigone
  • Books to be read over the summer prior to first class:
    • Raisin in the Sun—Hansberry  ISBN: 0-679-75533-0
    • Glass Menagerie—Williams ISBN: 0-451-16636-1

Required Materials: N/A

Additional Fee: There will be a $10 copy fee.

Instructor: Cindy Herndon