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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL32999 Tragedy: Classical to Neo-Classical

20 creditsClass Size: 30

For full module descriptions of our level 2 and 3 undergraduate modules (including details of preparatory reading, texts for purchase and required unassessed work) please see the Undergraduate Module Handbook in the English Organisation on the VLE.

Visiting and Exchange Students must read this information before selecting modules.

Module manager: Professor Paul Hammond
Email: p.f.hammond@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

Grade B at 'A' Level in English Language or Literature or equivalent or an achieved mark of 56 or above in a Level 1 module in English. Candidates who do not meet this pre-requisite should consult Professor Hammond.

Module replaces

ENGL32280

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

From the time of the ancient Greeks, tragedy has been a genre through which human beings have asked some of their most profound and searching questions. The first part of the module focuses on Greek tragedies by Aeschylus and Sophocles, and on the adaptation of Greek myth by the Roman dramatist and philosopher Seneca. The second part moves to the Renaissance and the seventeenth century, when classical stories and motifs are adapted by both English and French playwrights to articulate questions which trouble their societies. Recurring issues will include: how tragedy imagines the individual in conflict with society; how society's language and values are called into question; how revenge, madness and death are treated in different cultures; and how humans attempt to understand the gods. The Greek, Latin, and French plays will be read in translation, but students who know these languages will be welcome to make use of them.Priority will be given to students on named BA programmes with English, with Level 2 students taking priority over Level 3 students on those programmes. Only available as an Elective to students on BA programmes in Arts.

Objectives

To enable students to acquire, through the study of a selection of texts, an understanding of what 'tragedy' has meant, in theory and practice, in the history of the theatre and of literature before 1700. In particular, English Renaissance and Restoration tragedies will be seen in the context of a European classical tradition. Greek, Latin and French texts will be read in translation; and students will be expected to develop an understanding of the texts in their cultural contexts.

Learning outcomes
Students will have developed:
- the ability to use written and oral communication effectively;
- the capacity to analyse and critically examine diverse forms of discourse;
- the ability to manage quantities of complex information in a structured and systematic way;
- the capacity for independent thought and judgement;
- critical reasoning;
- research skills, including the retrieval of information, the organisation of material and the evaluation of its importance;
- IT skills;
- efficient time management and organisation skills;
- the ability to learn independently.

Skills outcomes
- Skills for effective communication, oral and written.
- Capacity to analyse and critically examine diverse forms of discourse.
- Ability to acquire quantities of complex information of diverse kinds in a structured and systematic way.
- Capacity for independent thought and judgement.
- Critical reasoning.
- Research skills, including information retrieval skills, the organisation of material, and the evaluation of its importance.
- IT skills.
- Time management and organisational skills.
- Independent learning.


Syllabus

From the time of the ancient Greeks, tragedy has been a genre through which human beings have asked some of their most profound and searching questions. The first part of the module focuses on Greek tragedies by Aeschylus and Sophocles, and on the adaptation of Greek myth by the Roman dramatist and philosopher Seneca. The second part moves to the Renaissance and the seventeenth century, when classical stories and motifs are adapted by both English and French playwrights to articulate questions which trouble their societies. Recurring issues will include: how tragedy imagines the individual in conflict with society; how society's language and values are called into question; how revenge, madness and death are treated in different cultures; and how humans attempt to understand the gods. The Greek, Latin, and French plays will be read in translation, but students who know these languages will be welcome to make use of them.

The following plays will be studied, in chronological order: Aeschylus, The Oresteia; Sophocles, Three Theban Plays; Seneca,Thyestes; Kyd, The Spanish Tragedy; Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus; Milton, Samson Agonistes; Dryden; All for Love; Racine, Phhdre.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Meetings51.005.00
Seminar101.0010.00
Private study hours185.00
Total Contact hours15.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Teaching will be through 10 x 1 hour weekly seminars, plus up to five additional hours which will be used for advice on the preparation of the assessed essay.

Private Study: Seminar preparation, reading, essay writing.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Contribution to seminars.

- Feedback on unassessed essay.

Methods of assessment


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay4,000 words (including quotations and footnotes, but excluding the bibliography). One unassessed essay of 500 words is required. This does not form part of the assessment for this module, but is a requirement and MUST be submitted. Students who fail to submit the unassessed essay will be awarded a maximum mark of 40 for the module (a bare Pass).100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

One unassessed essay of 500 words (e.g. a commentary or book review) is required. This does not form part of the assessment for this module, but is a requirement and MUST be submitted. Students who fail to submit the unassessed essay will be awarded a maximum mark of 40 for the module (a bare Pass).

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/04/2019

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