English R1A

Reading & Composition: Refusal and Resistance in Tragedy

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
5 Spring 2012 Moore, Stephanie Anne
MWF 1-2 222 Wheeler

Book List

Baillie, Joanna: Orra; Ibsen, Henrik: Hedda Gabler; Shakespeare, William: King Lear; Sophocles: Antigone; Webster, John: The Duchess of Malfi


Tragedy, roughly speaking, is a form of dramatic art that asks whether human suffering can be made to signify. In this class, we will trace a figure who recurs throughout the corpus of tragic plays written in Europe from antiquity to the present: a person, often a woman, who insists on a law higher than reason or social obligation, and who refuses to be moved, even if the alternative is death. Thinking about the changing dimensions of this figure over time will help us think more generally about tragedy itself—as a literary form, as a means of ethical inquiry, and as a type of knowledge, among other things.

The purpose this class is to develop your skills in expository writing and critical analysis, the value of which will stay with you beyond this class and beyond your undergraduate career.

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