Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitArchaeology and Ancient History
OfferedNot offered in 2015
Coordinator(s)Dr Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides


This unit explores the theatre of Classical Greece through a study of the surviving plays of the fifth century dramatists. Students will be introduced to the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, and the comedies of Aristophanes. We will examine the social and religious function of theatre in Classical Athens, and study the nature and development of theatrical performance. We will also examine the architecture of the theatre through a study of archaeological remains and the internal evidence of the plays. Students will be introduced to a range of critical approaches to Greek drama. Texts will be studies in translation.


By the completion of this subject students will have read all of the prescribed selection of authentic texts in translation and selected secondary texts/readings provided. Students will have gained and be able to demonstrate:

  1. A knowledge of the historical and cultural background to the prescribed selection of authentic texts, and a context-based understanding of them.
  2. A general knowledge and understanding of the themes and issues that are generated in the plays studied.
  3. A detailed knowledge and understanding of the reception of Greek drama in 5th century Athens, both in a cultural, philosophical and pedagogical context.
  4. Knowledge of the literary qualities/character of the received (written) text and the way in which they shed light on the tradition of their performance.
  5. The ability to discriminate between evidence, interpretation, opinion and fact in secondary sources.
  6. The ability to develop their own interpretations and understanding of the primary texts.
  7. The ability to engage with the critical discourse. This will be assessed in the longer essay, in which students will be required to demonstrate a detailed understanding of critical approaches in the secondary sources.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study