Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Classical Drama and Myth
Academic Year
Semester 1
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay Assignment  3000 Words  100%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit Essay Assignment  3000 Words  100%

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the generic, historical and cultural contexts of the texts studied on the module.

2. Demonstrate an ability to analyse the texts coherently in terms of the appropriate critical approaches offered on the module.

3. Produce informed and well-argued written work that seeks to discuss the texts with reference to their generic, historical and/or cultural contexts and relevant theoretical and/or other debates.

4. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the themes, forms and contexts of classical literature.

5. Work effectively as part of a team to communicate knowledge and understanding of your subject.

Brief description

This module will be of special interest to students of English and Creative Writing and also to others interested in classical drama and mythology. The texts studied include Classical Greek Tragedy and Classical Mythology. The emphasis will be on the importance of fate, the role of the dysfunctional family in Greek myth and drama, Utopian and Dystopian myths and the major mythological themes of creation, society and death.


This module will lead on from the first year Greek and Roman Epic and Drama module.
A previous knowledge of the Classics is not required.


Week one

Lecture 1 Athens and its Drama – a particular time and place
Lecture 2 Myth and drama in Athens
Seminar 1: Introduction to the course – discussion of context and background: Restrictions and possibilities within the theatre
Seminar 2: Gender in drama and the city, focusing on Aeschylus’ Agamemnon
Week Two
Lecture3 Sophocles Oedipus Tyrannous – the inexorability of fate.
Lecture 4 Sophocles Antigone.
Seminar three Oedipus Tyrannus – Sophocles and the city
Seminar 4: Antigone –obligations to family and city.

Week three

Lecture 5: Euripides’ Bacchae – the irresistible power of the divine
Lecture 6 The meaning of myth with reference to the Bacchae.
Seminar 5:The Iphigenia in Tauris and the Iphigenia in Aulis– women as creators of their own destiny or political victims
Seminar 6 Essay workshop and interpretation of myth

Week Four
Lecture 7Creation Myths (i) - biomorphic
Lecture 8 Creation Myths (ii) – technomorphic
Seminar. 7 Creation of man and of woman; including the figure of Prometheus.
Seminar 8. Atlantis and Golden Age myths

Week Five
Lecture 8 Myths of the afterlife
Lecture 9.Myths of the afterlife 2
Seminar 9 Plato’s Myths of the afterlife
Seminar 10 Essay discussion and workshop

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Written: sustain an argument for written work. Listen effectively and make coherent oral contributions to seminars.
Improving own Learning and Performance Through independent reading and research.
Information Technology Use of digital resources for research and PowerPoint for presentations.
Personal Development and Career planning Develop critical self-reflection and through the development of transferable communication and research skills.
Problem solving Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of bodies of ideas and critical arguments pertaining to classic literature, including identity formation, trauma and the role of narrators; Construct a rational argument to a critical problem; undertake critical or evaluative work.
Research skills Understand a range of research methods. Plan and carry out an analytical piece of writing. Produce suitably academically referenced and structured work.
Subject Specific Skills Detailed critical/theoretical analysis of literary texts and evaluation of broad intellectual concepts.
Team work Play an active part in seminar groups.


This module is at CQFW Level 5