English 323

ENGL 323
The Study of Drama

Catalog Entry

ENGL 323. The Study of Drama
Three hours lecture (3).

Prerequisites: CORE 101 and CORE 102.

A study of drama as a literary genre, with its own specific types and critical theories.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

The course focuses on the dramatic tradition, examining the development of different dramatic forms—tragedy, comedy & mixed forms—and their relationship to the historical eras. Individual plays are examined in light of dramatic theory ranging from Aristotle’s Poetics to contemporary dramatic theory.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Students read representative plays from the classical drama of ancient Greece to contemporary drama as well as selected dramatic theory and criticism. Students are encouraged, and may, in some cases, be required to attend productions of plays in order to increase their awareness of and appreciation for the importance of live performances. The format of the course is a combination of lecture and discussion. Student presentations, perhaps in the form of oral reports or the performance of scenes, will also be an important feature of the conduct of the course. Writing in the course will be both of an informal (e.g., journals) and a formal (e.g., essay exams, analytical essays, critical reviews, etc.) nature. There may also be opportunity for creative writing (e.g., a short skit or play, a scene of a proposed longer play, a speech for a character in a play, etc.).


Goals and Objectives of Course

Students who complete this course will have a clear understanding of drama as a genre, with its own structure, tradition and critical vocabulary. They will be familiar with prime examples of the dramatic tradition. Where possible, students will be exposed to the cross-cultural relationships in the development of drama. Students will be able to draw on the technical terminology of dramatic structure and of traditional dramatic forms to discuss individual plays that they encounter.


Assessment Measures

Traditional examinations and writing assignments will be used to assess students’ comprehension of the technical vocabulary associated with drama and used in the critical discussions of drama. Student attendance at dramatic productions and student in-class presentations and performances will contribute to the students’ awareness of live performance as an essential element of the genre.


Other Course Information


Review and Approval

October, 2009