Euripides, Seneca, and Mythmaking

Subject 107-404 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: .

Admission to the postgraduate diploma or fourth year honours in classics or classical studies and archaeology.

Corequisites: .
Recommended Background Knowledge: .
Non Allowed Subjects: .
Core Participation Requirements: .


Dr James H Kim On Chong-Gossard


Kim On Chong-Gossard

Subject Overview:

Students will read, in English translation, selected plays by Euripides (the 5th century BCE Athenian playwright) and Seneca (the 1st century CE Roman writer and tutor of the Emperor Nero). The subject introduces students to methods of interpreting tragedy, in particular how Euripides and Seneca use Greek mythology to explore social issues relevant to their times. By invoking commonly known myths, reinterpreting them, and sometimes re-inventing them, the plays of Euripides and Seneca continue to resonate with modern audiences on issues of war and slavery, democracy and power, and especially ideologies of gender and the place of women in society. Students will be introduced to feminism, queer theory, structural linguistics, Jungian psychology, alterity, metatheatre, and theories of ancient drama in modern performance.

Objectives: Students who successfully complete this subject should...
  • Be familiar with the corpus of Euripidean drama in translation
  • Appreciate the culture and social history of 5th century Athens through the lens of theatre and its social commentary
  • Be able to explain modern theoretical approaches to the study of ancient theatre, both as texts and in performance
  • Be able to conduct independent research using catalogued sources and bibliographic indexes
  • Have developed their skills in verbal communication and oral presentation
  • Have developed their ability to think creatively and express their ideas clearly in written communication

Two oral presentations 40% (during the semester), two class papers totalling 2500 words 30% (due during the semester), and a final essay of 2500 words 30% (due in the examination period).

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

  • Medea (Seneca), F Ahl (trans)
Recommended Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • students should: be able to explain modern theoretical approaches to the study of ancient theatre, both as texts and in performance;

  • develop their ability to think creatively and to express their ideas clearly in written form and orally.

Notes: .
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Ancient and Medieval Studies
Ancient, Medieval && Early Modern Studies
Classical Studies && Archaeology
Classical Studies and Archaeology
Classical Studies and Archaeology

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