Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years
Succesful completion of Part One Drama

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 15-minute oral presentation with reflective documentation  40%
Semester Assessment Essay (3000 words)  60%
Supplementary Assessment Essay with presentation plan  40%
Supplementary Assessment Essay (3000 words) - (To a new title)  60%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Critically evaluate relevant texts and consider the implications of these texts in performance;e.

Situate ancient and adapted texts in their cultural, political and historical contexts.

Demonstrate an awareness of the wider cultural and theoretical issues raised by adaptations of classical texts.

Produce organized, coherently structured and critically engaged written and oral work.


The module focuses on adaptations and rewrites of "the classics" of antiquity with a view to asking the followng questions: What is a classic? Is canonical status afforded to such work purely on the grounds of textual antiquity? Why rewrite/adapt such works? What are the theatrical strategies of such reworkings? By looking at a variety of adaptations and rewrites students will develop an understanding of canon-formation and rewriting/performative rereading as a critical paradigm.

Brief description

This module will provide a thorough introduction to plays that are representative of the key genres of Ancient drama (Satyr, Tragedy and Comedy) whilst providing a sound foundation for understanding how these Ancient works have been and continue to be adapted and rewritten, for example as political protest, pacifist messages, critique of aesthetics and canonicity, a contemplation of our present age and beyond. In this respect, the module will provide a thorough overview of Ancient drama, Adaptation theory and a selection of modern (twentieth century and twenty first century) adaptations and rewrites.


Lecture One: What is a Classic? Canon Formation and Rewriting the Ancients

Lecture Two: The Trackers of Oxyrynchus and Sophocles' Fragments: Satyric Drama and its Regenerative Potential

Lecture Three: Rewriting Sophocles' Antigone: Brecht, Fugard and Gambaro - an overview

Lecture Four: Fugard, Kani and Ntshona's The Island and "Life" Art: Rewriting as Political Protest

Lecture Five: Pacifist Antigones: Gambaro's Antigona Furiosa, Shaw's Bury the Dead and Brecht's Version of Antigone after Holderlin (screening of Anouilh's Antigone)

Lecture Six: Irish Medeas; Marina Carr's By the Bog o' The Cats; (screening of Meda - Pasolini and Lars Von Trier arranged)

Lecture Seven: Oedipus, Freud and Steven Berkoff's Greek; screening of Lee Breuer's Gospel at Colonos arranged

Lecture Eight: Genre and the Ancients - From Comedy to Tragedy - Tony Harrison's The Common Chorus, Aristophanes' Lysistrata and Euripides' The Trojan Women (screening of The Trojan Women arranged)

Lecture Nine: Why Adapt and Rewrite?

Lecture Ten: Tradition's Progressive and Subversive Potential - A Summation and Revision pointers

(Maximum of 9 play texts accompanied by at least 6 screenings of play extracts)

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Written: clear articulation of ideas and analysis in written assessments. Verbal: class contribution, interaction and presentation.
Improving own Learning and Performance By independent research; tutor feedback on written work and oral contribution in class; interaction of peers during seminar presentation; developing time/work management skills; reflecting upon presentational skills and other written work.
Information Technology For research purposes (for written assessments and class presentations); Use, for example of PowerPoint for class presentation. Using electronic research and bibliographic resources and accessing Blackboard for course materials.
Personal Development and Career planning Personal development and career planning skills will be developed through the module's emphasis on presentation. Many of the generic skills developed through work on this module will have significant transferability to a wide range of career contexts.
Problem solving By critical engagement (verbal and written) with intellectual concepts raised by plays and their context.
Research skills By preparation for written assessment and presentation in class.
Subject Specific Skills The analysis of play-text both by classroom discussion, group presentation and written assessment. A detailed knowledge of Ancient drama as text and in performance and an understanding of its social, political and cultural context alongside a thorough introduction to Adaptation Theory and representative 20th and 21st century adaptations and rewrites of the ancients. See also QAA Dance, Drama and Performance Subject Benchmark Statement (Version 2007). * Describing, theorising, interpreting and evaluating performance texts and performance events from a range of critical perspectives * Reading the performance possibilities implied by a script, score and other textual or documentary sources * Engaging in research, whether independent, group or performance-based * Identifying and interpreting the cultural frameworks which surround performance events
Team work By class presentation in small groups.


This module is at CQFW Level 6