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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Postgraduate Course: Tragedy and Modernity (ENLI11152)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course explores the attempts made by various schools of theatre to revive the concept of tragedy within modernity.

The crisis in enlightenment thinking triggers a debate about the possibility (or impossibility) of the tragic. The various schools of performance tackle this issue in differing and sometimes conflicting ways.

Athenian Tragedy provides a set of conventions and concepts that are reworked in modernist fashion. At the same time, it provides an example of the vexed relationships between modernity, tradition and classicism. As a reconfiguration of the sublime, the aesthetic or political, the tragic, as form and content, helps create new languages of performance.

Through the works of Ibsen, Strindberg, Yeats, Wilde, Brecht, Beckett, and Heiner Muller this course examines the types of tragedy formulated within modernity.
Course description 1: The Birth of Modern Tragedy - Henrik Ibsen, Ghosts; Excerpts by Friedrich Nietzsche and August Strindberg
2: Tragedy and Poetic Drama - W.B. Yeats, 'At the Hawk's Well' and 'Purgatory'; Oscar Wilde, Salome
3: Tragedy and Poetic Drama - Eugene O'Neill, Long Day's Journey into Night
4: Tragedy and Blackness - Neale Hurston, Color Struck; Ntozake Shange, For colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf.
5: Tragedy and Epic - Bertolt Brecht, Mother Courage and her Children
6: The End of Tragedy - Samuel Beckett, Endgame
7: The End of Tragedy - Samuel Beckett, Happy Days, Not I
8: Postcolonial Tragedy - Wole Soyinka, A Dance of the Forests
9: Postcolonial Tragedy - Ama Ato Aidoo, Awona; Athol Fugard, Boesman & Lena
10: The Killing of Tragedy - Sarah Kane, Blasted, Phaedra┬┐s Love


Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  15
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 4000 Word Essay (100%)
Feedback Students will be given verbal feedback during seminars on their presentations and overall contribution to these. Detailed formative feedback will be given, 1 to 1, upon submission of an outline/proposal for their final piece of assessed work. Students will then be asked to reflect upon this by submitting a short paragraph or a list of intended action points. Detailed written feedback will be given upon the final written summative assessment for this course.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. to familiarise students with classical as well as modern theories of tragedy
  2. to examine the significance of psychoanalysis for tragic theory
  3. to familiarise students of the significance of performance conventions
  4. to create awareness of movements of performance
  5. to create a comparative approach between the different playwrights and to assess the significance of tragic theory within general literary theory
Reading List
1: The Birth of Modern Tragedy - Henrik Ibsen, Ghosts; Excerpts by Friedrich Nietzsche and August Strindberg
2: Tragedy and Poetic Drama - W.B. Yeats, 'At the Hawk's Well' and 'Purgatory'; Oscar Wilde, Salome
3: Tragedy and Poetic Drama - Eugene O'Neill, Long Day's Journey into Night
4: Tragedy and Blackness - Neale Hurston, Color Struck; Ntozake Shange, For colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf.
5: Tragedy and Epic - Bertolt Brecht, Mother Courage and her Children
6: The End of Tragedy - Samuel Beckett, Endgame
7: The End of Tragedy - Samuel Beckett, Happy Days, Not I
8: Postcolonial Tragedy - Wole Soyinka, A Dance of the Forests
9: Postcolonial Tragedy - Ama Ato Aidoo, Awona; Athol Fugard, Boesman & Lena
10: The Killing of Tragedy - Sarah Kane, Blasted, Phaedra┬┐s Love
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements MSc only
KeywordsTaM
Contacts
Course organiserDr Martin Schauss
Tel:
Email: mschauss@exseed.ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMiss Kara McCormack
Tel: (0131 6)50 3030
Email: Kara.McCormack@ed.ac.uk
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