Information in the Degree Programme Tables may still be subject to change in response to Covid-19

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Greek

Undergraduate Course: Greek Comedy (GREE10011)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course offers an introduction to the study of Greek comedy, especially selected comedies by Aristophanes and Menander, in Greek and in translation, as well as study of the social and political contexts of the plays.
Course description Comedy is one of the oldest established literary genres, and like epic and tragedy, it is a legacy from the Greeks. The course will focus upon a close reading, in the original, of two plays, selected to provide a good basis for the discussion of the qualities of comedy and its historical development. Beyond regular translation of and commentary on the Greek, the course will concentrate upon the historical and social contexts of the plays, and illustrate their significant differences. Full attention will be paid to literary questions such as the 'seriousness' (or otherwise) of Greek Comedy, its relationship with other genres, language and form.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( Greek 2A (GREE08007) OR Greek 2a Ex-Beginners (GREE08009)) AND Greek 2B (GREE08008)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs 2 set texts
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesAdvanced-level ability in Greek language and literature, equivalent to two years' study at the University of Edinburgh (if uncertain, consult the course organiser).
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, in class discussion, coursework and examination as required, that they have further consolidated their grasp of the Greek language, in particular forms of colloquial Attic Greek, not excluding obscenity (!);
  2. demonstrate, in class discussion, coursework and examination as required, that they have acquired a sound knowledge of the study of Comedy as a dramatic literary genre, the development of that genre from Aristophanes to Menander, and its relation to other literary genres and to humour in general;
  3. demonstrate, in class discussion, coursework and examination as required, an advanced appreciation of the social dimension of Greek Comedy, especially its festival setting and its relation to gender issues and politics;
  4. demonstrate, in class discussion, coursework and examination as required, that they have acquired knowledge about the staging and production of ancient drama, in combination with an advanced knowledge of Greek (and esp. Athenian) history;
  5. demonstrate, in class discussion, coursework and examination as required, bibliographical and research skills to pursue their more specific interests arising from the studied plays.
Reading List
Biles, Z. P. Aristophanes and the Poetics of Competition (Cambridge 2011).
Dobrov, G. The City as Comedy: Society and Representation in Athenian Drama (Chapel Hill 1997).
Dover, K. Aristophanic Comedy (London 1972).
Harvey, D. & Wilkins, J. (eds.) The Rivals of Aristophanes: Studies in Athenian Old Comedy (London 2000).
Heath, M. Political Comedy in Aristophanes (Göttingen 1987).
Konstan, D. Greek Comedy and Ideology (Oxford 1995).
Marshall, C. W. and Kovacs, G. (eds.) No Laughing Matter: Studies in Athenian Comedy (London 2012).
Ruffell, I. A. Politics and Anti-realism in Athenian Old Comedy: The Art of the Impossible (Oxford 2012).
Sommerstein, A. Greek Drama and Dramatists (London 2002).
Sommerstein, A. et al. (eds.) Tragedy, Comedy and the Polis (Bari 1993).
Wiles, D. Greek Theatre Performance: an Introduction (Cambridge 2000).
Wright, M. The Comedian as Critic: Greek Old Comedy and Poetics (London 2012).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements In order for a student from outwith Classics to be enrolled on this course, contact must be made with a Course Secretary on 50 3580 / 50 3582 in order for approval to be obtained.
KeywordsGreek Comedy
Course organiserDr Simon Trepanier
Tel: (0131 6)50 3589
Course secretaryMiss Rachel Ord
Tel: (0131 6)50 3580
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information