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Course Information

Instructor Info:Robert Meagher
Office Extension x5417
Term: 2014S
Meeting Info: Monday Wednesday
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Emily Dickinson Hall (EDH) 2
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Emily Dickinson Hall (EDH) 2

The aim of this course is to provide an introduction to the dramatic traditions and texts of classical Greek and classical Sanskrit theater. From the classical Athenian corpus, selected tragedies by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, as well as comedies by Aristophanes and Menander, will be considered in depth. From the classical Indian tradition, we will read works by Bhasa, Kalidasa, and Shudraka. Special attention will be paid to the historical context of each play and to considerations of staging, ancient and modern.

Course Objectives:

Attendance and Participation:

Students are expected to come to class on time and to attend all scheduled class meetings. If you have to miss a class due to serious illness, religious observance, or family emergency, you should email the instructor and inform him of your absence prior to the missed class. Keep in mind that when you miss a class, it becomes your responsibility to contact your classmates to find out about the announcements and class discussion that you missed. Three absences from class are allowed for medical and other contingencies.  With four absences, for any reason, a student forfeits any right to formal evaluation of his or her work in this course.  In certain instances, however, evaluation may be possible, given exceptional circumstances and additional independent work.  The initiative for such an exception must be made by the student.  A sign-in sheet will be on hand for each class, and it is the student’s responsibility to check off their name on that sheet. This will be the basis for assessing class attendance. Students are expected to complete the reading assignments and assigned film viewings before coming to each class and to be ready to take an active role in the discussion. Class participation is an important part of the course requirements.

Evaluation Criteria:

Course Requirements:

The conditions for formal evaluation in this course are the following:

• Thoughtful study of the course texts prior to their consideration in class.

• Sustained engagement in classroom discussions.

• Timely completion of written assignments:

1. Mid-term take-home exam essays, due on Wednesday, March 12.

2. Final take-home exam OR research paper, approximately 10 pages (2,500 words) in length, due on the last day of our class, Wednesday, April 30.  A one-page sketch of paper topic and preliminary bibliography is due on Monday, April 7.

Additional Info:

Required Texts [In order of consideration. All are available at Amherst Books, 8 Main Street, Amherst center on the town green. Other readings—available for download on the course website.]

Richmond Lattimore, tr., Aeschylus 2, Oresteia, University of Chicago  ISBN: 9780226311470

Richmond Lattimore, tr., Sophocles One: Three Tragedies, University of Chicago  ISBN: 0226307921 

Robert Meagher, The Essential Euripides, Bolchazy-Carducci  ISBN: 0865165130

Robert Meagher, Herakles Gone Mad, Interlink  ISBN: 1566566355

William Arrowsmith et al., tr., 4 Plays by Aristophanes, Penguin Group  ISBN: 0452007178

Maurice Balme, tr., Menander, The Plays and Fragments, Oxford University Press  ISBN: 780199540730 

Lal, Great Sanskrit Plays, New Directions  ISBN: 0811200795