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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CLAS3900 Roman Comedy

20 creditsClass Size: 24

Module manager: Dr Regine May
Email: R.May@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is mutually exclusive with

CLAS3391

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The module introduces students in detail to six major Roman comedies by the main Roman comic playwrights, Plautus and Terence. On completion of the module the students will also have some knowledge of other plays by the same authors as well as by some Greek playwrights. They will have some insight into the literary and socio-cultural context of the plays, and their background in the “real” Greek and Roman world. We will aim at understanding some of the contemporary critical debates surrounding Roman drama. By discussing issues including morality, education, rape (which plays a large role in Roman comedy and therefore will be studied in detail), or the role of women in Roman society, we will often proceed thematically by studying relevant passages from the set texts. Long after it stopped being written, Roman comedy was admired and studied in the ancient world from Cicero to Augustine, and we will take a look at what makes these old plays still relevant today. In the lectures we will explore the various literary-historical, political, religious, philosophical, social and intertextual perspectives which shed light on the plays In the Seminars we will study specific scenes taken from the plays in detail. In lectures, the translations used will be Plautus: The Pot of Gold and other Plays. Transl. by E.F. Watling. Harmondsworth 1965 (Penguin), and Terence: The Comedies. Transl. with an introduction by Betty Radice. Harmondsworth 1965 (Penguin). The module is worth 20 credits and runs over one semester, with two lectures per week and a total of 5 seminars.

Objectives

On successful completion of this module, students are expected to be able to:

- discuss, both orally and in writing, the development of Roman comedy, taking into account the literary-historical, political, religious, social and intertextual perspectives;
- explore parallels with Greek texts and assess the relationship of the “comedy” genre within the development of literature in the early Roman republic;


Learning outcomes
1. a coherent and detailed knowledge and understanding of the plays of Plautus and Terence from literary, cultural and socio-political perspectives, some of which will be informed by current research/scholarship in the discipline
2. demonstrate a range of subject-specific skills, including an ability to deploy accurately standard techniques of analysis and enquiry within the discipline
3. analyse critically various forms of texts (especially different genres of literature) and relate them to each other where appropriate.
4. -demonstrate a range of transferable skills, including written expression, the use of IT resources and the organisation of personal study.
5. demonstrate a conceptual understanding which enables the development and sustaining of an argument;
6. appreciate the uncertainty, ambiguity and limitations of knowledge in the discipline;
7. make appropriate use of scholarly literature and primary sources;

Skills outcomes
.


Syllabus

The module introduces students in detail to six major Roman comedies by the main Roman comic playwrights, Plautus and Terence. On completion of the module the students will also have some knowledge of other plays by the same authors as well as by some Greek playwrights. They will have some insight into the literary and socio-cultural context of the plays, and their background in the “real” Greek and Roman world. We will aim at understanding some of the contemporary critical debates surrounding Roman drama. By discussing issues including morality, education, rape (which plays a large role in Roman comedy and therefore will be studied in detail), or the role of women in Roman society, we will often proceed thematically by studying relevant passages from the set texts. Long after it stopped being written, Roman comedy was admired and studied in the ancient world from Cicero to Augustine, and we will take a look at what makes these old plays still relevant today.
In the exam, the students will demonstrate that they can engage closely with the texts studied, and write critically about issues of interpretation of Roman drama.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Lecture201.0020.00
Seminar51.005.00
Private study hours175.00
Total Contact hours25.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

The 175 private study hours (taking away 25 contact hours) comprise of:
3.5 hours reading per lecture = 3.5 x 20 = 70
6 hours reading per seminar = 6 x 5 = 30
Assignment 1 (40%) = 40
Preparation for Exam (60%) = 36

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored:
at an informal level, through lectures, seminar contributions and detailed module questionnaire;
at a formal level, through the summatively-assessed assignment

Methods of assessment


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x essay of 2,000-2,500 words40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)40.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)60.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/04/2019

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