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GK4127   'Satire', Sex and Society: Greek 'Old Comedy'

Academic year(s): 2019-2020

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF Level 10

Semester: 2

Availability restrictions: Available to General Degree students with the permission of the Honours Adviser

Planned timetable: To be confirmed

When Aristophanes' first play was produced (427 BCE), comic drama had been on Athens' festival programme for nearly sixty years. He was just one of many playwrights contributing to a well-established genre of mass entertainment. This module will focus on Aristophanes' output in the light of these facts. Recent scholarship allows better-informed comparisons between Aristophanes' complete plays and fragments of comedies by his predecessors and contemporary rivals. So, this module will get you asking some exciting questions: how edgy and original was Aristophanes' ridicule of real leaders, institutions and political processes? What should we make of his interest in sexuality, gender roles and social organization? And was it typical of the genre? Are the differences between Aristophanes' early work and his late output mirrored in the work of other Athenian comedians? How useful are 'Old Comedy' and 'satire' as labels given this genre's tendency towards flux and multiformity?

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): 40 credits from GK2001, GK2003, GK2003, GK2004, including one pass at 11 or better, or a pass in LT3018, or evidence of equivalent linguistic achievement.

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 2 hour seminars (11 weeks)

Scheduled learning hours: 22

Guided independent study hours: 278

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 2-hour Written Examination = 40%, Coursework = 60% (class test 15%, written coursework 45%)

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 55%
Practical examinations : 0%
Coursework: 45%

Re-assessment: 3-hour Written Examination = 100%


Module coordinator: Dr J P Hesk
Module teaching staff: Dr Jon Hesk
Module coordinator email