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Classical Drama and Theatre

Course Description
Class Grading and Projects
A Guide to Writing in History and Classics


Classical Drama and Society: A Select Bibliography

SECTION 1: The Origin(s) of Greek Theatre
SECTION 2: Classical Greek Tragedy
SECTION 3: Greek Comedy
SECTION 4: Roman Drama and Theatre

General Ancient Theatre

P.D. Arnott, "Convention versus Illusion" and "Problems of Translation" in An Introduction to the Greek Theatre (Indiana University, Bloomington:1959) 1-14, 180-206.

M. Bieber, The History of Greek and Roman Theatre (Princeton Univ. Press: 1961).

Philip W. Harsh, A Handbook of Classical Drama (Stanford Univ. Press: 1944).

I. Lada-Richards, "By Means of Performance: Western Mythological Vase-Paintings, Tragic 'Enrichment,' and the Early Reception of Fifth-Century Athenian Tragedy," Arion 17.2 (2009) 99-166.

G. Ley, A Short Introduction to the Ancient Greek Theatre (Univ. of Chicago Press: 1991).

R. Scodel, ed., Theatre and Society in the Classical World (Univ. of Michigan Press: 1993).

SECTION 1: The Origin(s) of Greek Theatre

Early Greek Tragedy

Gerald F. Else, "Dionysus, Goat-Men and Tragoidia" and "Solon and Pisistratus: The Attic Matrix" in The Origin and Early Form of Greek Tragedy (Harvard Univ. Press: 1965) 9-50.

James G. Frazer, The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion (MacMillan: 1922).

Simon Goldhill, "The Great Dionysia and Civic Ideology" in Nothing To Do With Dionysos, edd. J.J. Winkler and F.I. Zeitlin (1990) 97-129.

N.G.L. Hammond and W.G. Moon, "Illustrations of Early Tragedy at Athens," AJA 82.3 (1978) 371-383.

N.G.L. Hammond, "More on the Conditions of Production to the Death of Aeschylus," GRBS 29.1 (1988) 5-34.

M. Hinden, "Drama and Ritual Once Again: Notes toward a Revival of Tragic Theory," Comparative Drama 29 (1995) 183-202.

A.M.G. Little, Myth and Society in Attic Drama (1942) 3-28.

J.P. Poe, "The Altar in the Fifth-Century Theatre," Classical Antiquity 8 (1989) 116-139.

C. Segal, Interpreting Greek Tragedy: Myth, Poetry, Text (1986) 21-47.

E. Vandiver, "Greek Heroic Mythology and the Ritual Theory of Tragedy's Origin," in Text and Presentation: The Journal of the Comparative Drama Conference XI, ed. K. Hartigan (1991) 119-125.

General Greek Tragedy

M. Damen, "Actor and Character in Greek Tragedy," Theatre Journal 41 (1989) 316-340.

M. Damen, "French Scenes in Greek Tragedy: The Scenic Structure of Classical Drama," Theatre Journal 55 (2003) 113-134.

J.F. Davidson, "The Circle and the Tragic Chorus," G&R 33.1 (1986) 38-46.

M. Dillon, "Tragic Laughter," CW 84 (1991) 345-55.

H. Foley, "Modern Performance and Adaptation of Greek Tragedy," TAPA 129 (1999) 1-12.

E. Gebhard, "The Form of the Orchestra in the Early Greek Theater," Hesperia 43 (1974) 428-440.

J.R. Green, "On Seeing and Depicting the Theatre in Classical Athens," GRBS 32 (1991) 15-50.

M.L. Hart, O. Taplin, P. Hall, P. Sellars, P. Stein and L. Koniordou, "Ancient Greek Tragedy on the Stage," Arion 10 (2003) 125-175.

Bernard Knox, "Myth and Attic Tragedy" in Word and Action: Essays on the Ancient Theatre (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press: 1979), 3-24.

D. Konstan, "What We Must Believe in Greek Tragedy," Ramus 28 (1999) 75-88.

G. Ley and M. Evans, "The Orchestra as Acting Area in Greek Tragedy," Ramus 14.2 (1985) 75-84.

C.W. Marshall, "Alcestis and the Ancient Rehearsal Process (P.Oxy. 4546)," Arion 11 (2004) 27-45.

A. Pickard-Cambridge, The Dramatic Festivals of Athens, 2nd ed., rev. J. Gould and D.M. Lewis (Oxford Clarendon: 1988).

R. Rehm, "The Performance Culture of Athens" in Greek Tragic Theatre (Routledge, London: 1992).

R. Rehm, Marriage to Death: The Conflation of Wedding and Funeral Rituals in Greek Tragedy (Princeton: 1994).

O. Taplin, "Actions and Gestures" and "Objects and Tokens" in Greek Tragedy in Action (University of California, Berkeley: 1978) 58-100.

J. Winkler and F. Zeitlin (edd.), Nothing To Do With Dionysos? Athenian Drama in its Social Context (Princeton: 1990). Esp, J. Winkler, "The Ephebes' Song: Tragoidia and Polis," in op. cit., 20-62.

Jennifer Wise, "Courtroom Dramas" in Dionysus Writes: The Invention of Theatre in Ancient Greece (Cornell Univ. Press: 1998) 119-168.

SECTION 2: Classical Greek Tragedy


J. Herington, Aeschylus (Yale 1986).

H.D.F. Kitto, "The 'Oresteia'" and "The Dramatic Art of Aeschylus" in Greek Tragedy (Methuen & Co.: 1939) 64-116.

B. Knox, "Aeschylus and the Third Actor" in Word and Action: Essays on the Ancient Theatre (Johns Hopkins: 1979) 39-55.

C. Pelling, "Aeschylus' Persae and History," in Greek Tragedy and the Historian, ed. C. Pelling (Oxford Clarendon: 1997) 1-19.

O. Taplin, The Stagecraft of Aeschylus (Oxford Clarendon: 1977).


H. Bloom ed., Sophocles' Oedipus Rex (Chelsea, NY: 1988).

J.H. Kells, "Sophocles' Electra Revisited," Eranos 86 (1988) 153-160.

G. Ley, "A Scenic Plot of Sophocles' Ajax and Philoctetes," Eranos 86 (1988) 85-115.

A.J. Podlecki, "Another Look at Character in Sophocles," Daidalikon: Studies in Memory of Raymond V. Schoder, S.J., ed. R. Sutton (Bolchazy-Carducci, Wauconda: 1989).

R.M. Rothaus, "The Single Burial of Polyneices," CJ 85.3 (1990) 209-217.

R. Scodel, "Electra" and "Philoctetes" in Sophocles (Twayne, Boston: 1984).

D. Seale, Vision and Stagecraft in Sophocles (Croom Helm, London: 1982).

D.F. Sutton, The Lost Sophocles (University Press of America, Lanham MD: 1984).


W.G. Arnott, "Euripides and the Unexpected," G&R 2nd ser. 20 (1973) 49-60.

W.G. Arnott, "Red Herrings and Other Baits," Museum Philologum Londiniense 3 (1978) 1-24.

W.G. Arnott, "Euripides' Newfangled Helen," Antichthon 24 (1990) 1-18.

S. Barlow, The Imagery of Euripides (Methuen, London: 1971).

M. Damen, "Electra's Monody and the Role of the Chorus in Euripides' Orestes 960-1012," TAPA 120 (1990), 133-145.

M. Damen, "Sing the Dionysus: Euripides' Bacchae as Dramatic Hymn," AJPh 133 (2012) 343-369.

F.M. Dunn, "Comic and Tragic License in Euripides' Orestes," Classical Antiquity 8.2 (1989) 238-251.

R.K. Fisher, "The ‘Palace Miracles' in Euripides' Bacchae: A Reconsideration," AJP 113 (1992) 179-188.

B. Knox, "Euripidean Comedy," in Word and Action: Essays on the Ancient Theatre (Johns Hopkins 1979) 250-274.

M.R. Lefkowitz, "'Impiety' and 'Atheism' in Euripides' Dramas," CQ 39 2nd ser. (1989) 70-82.

G. Ley, "Scenic Notes on Euripides' Helen," Eranos 89 (1991) 25-34.

J.R. March, "Euripides' Bakchai: A Reconsideration in the Light of Vase-Paintings," BICS 36 (1989) 33-65.

P. Meineck, "Tyranny of the Text: The Bacchae," Arion 17.2 (2009) 81-98.

S.D. Olson, "Politics and the Lost Euripidean Philoctetes," Hesperia 60 (1991) 269-283.

C. Riedweg, "The ‘Atheistic' Fragment from Euripides' Bellerophontes (286 N2)," ICS 15 (1990) 39-53.

S.L. Schein, "Mythical Illusion and Historical Reality in Euripides' Orestes," WS 88 (1975) 49-66.

P. Sfyroeras, "The Ironies of Salvation: The Aigeus Scene in Euripides' Medea," CJ (1994) 125-42.

SECTION 3: Greek Comedy

Aristophanes and Old Comedy

W.G. Arnott, "A Lesson from The Frogs," G&R 38 (1991) 18-23.

A.M. Bowie, "Lysistrata," "Thesmophoriazusae," and "Frogs" in Aristophanes: Myth, Ritual and Comedy (Cambridge 1993).

G. Dobrov, "The Dawn of Farce: Aristophanes," in Farce, ed. J. Redmond (Cambridge1988) 5-31.

J. Henderson, "A Brief History of Athenian Political Comedy (ca. 440 - ca. 300 BCE)," TAPA 143 (2013) 249-62.

K. Lever, The Art of Greek Comedy, chpts. 1-3 (Methuen, London: 1956): Chapter 1: Archaic Greek Comedy (600-530 B.C.); Chapter 2: Archaic Greek Comedy (530-470 B.C.) Chapter 3: Athenian Old Comedy (487-430 B.C.).

N.J. Lowe, "Greek Stagecraft and Aristophanes," in Farce, ed. J. Redmond (Cambridge 1988) 33-52.

D.M. MacDowell, "Clowning and Slapstick in Aristophanes," in Farce, ed. J. Redmond (Cambridge 1988) 1-13.

D.M. MacDowell, "The Number of Speaking Actors in Old Comedy," CQ 44 (1994) 325-335.

D.M. MacDowell, "Akharnians," "Clouds" and "Wasps" in Aristophanes and Athens: An Introduction to the Plays (Oxford 1995).

C.W. Marshall, "Amphibian Ambiguities Answered," EMC 40 n.s. 15 (1996) 251-265.

C.W. Marshall, "Comic Technique and the Fourth Actor," CQ 47 (1997) 77-84.

G. Norwood, "Cratinus" and "Eupolis" in Greek Comedy (Hill and Wang, New York: 1963).

J. Rusten, "Who 'Invented' Comedy? The Ancient Candidates for the Origins of Comedy and the Visual Evidence," AJP 127 (2006) 37-66.

R. Seaford, "Introduction" (pp. 1-61) in Euripides' Cyclops (Oxford Clarendon, 1988).

M.S. Silk, "Comedy and Tragedy (Chapter 2)" and "Serious Issues and ‘Serious Comedy' (Chapter 7)" in Aristophanes and the Definition of Comedy (Oxford Clarendon 2000).

N. Slater, "Making the Aristophanic Audience," AJP 120 (1999) 351-368.

D.F. Sutton, The Catharsis of Comedy (Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham MA: 1994).

W. Sypher, "The Meanings of Comedy" in Comedy: An Essay on Comedy (Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London: 1956).

Menander and New Comedy

W.G. Arnott, "Studies in Comedy, I: Alexis and the Parasite's Name," GRBS 9 (1968) 161-168.

W.G. Arnott, "Menander, qui vitae ostendit vitam . . .," G&R 15.1 (1968) 1-17.

W.G. Arnott, "Time, Plot and Character in Menander," PLLS, vol. 2 (1979) 343-360.

P.G. Brown, "Masks, Names and Characters in New Comedy," Hermes 115 (1987) 181-202.

P.G. Brown, "Love and Marriage in Greek New Comedy," CQ 43 (1993) 189-205.

A.H. Groton, "Anger in Menander's Samia," AJP 108 (1987) 437-443.

R.L. Hunter, The Presentation of Herodas' Mimiamboi," Antichthon 27 (1993) 31-44.

R.L. Hunter, "Chapter 3: Plots and motifs: the stereotyping of comedy" in The New Comedy of Greece and Rome (Cambridge 1985) 59-82.

R.L. Hunter, "Chapter 5: Comedy and Tragedy" in The New Comedy of Greece and Rome (Cambridge 1985) 114-136.

P.A. Iversen, "Coal for Diamonds: Syriskos' Character in Menander's Epitrepontes," AJP 122 (2001) 381-404.

S. Lape, "The Poetics of the Komos-Chorus in Menander's Comedy," AJP 127 (2006) 89-109.

A. Lesky, A History of Greek Literature, trans. J. Willis and C. de Heer (London 1966) 642-665.

T. MacCary, "Menander's Slaves: Their Names, Roles and Masks," and "Menander's Characters: Their Names, Roles and Masks," TAPA 100/101 (1969/70) 277-294, 277-290.

H-G. Nesselrath, "Parody and Later Greek Comedy," HSCP 95 (1993) 181-95.

F.H. Sandbach, The Comic Theatre of Greece and Rome (Chatto & Windus, London: 1977), esp. chpts. 4 and 5 on New Comedy and Menander.

A. Traill, "Knocking on Cnemon's Door: Stagecraft and Symbolism in the Dyskolos," TAPA 131 (2001) 87-108.

D. Wiles, "Marriage and Prostitution in Classical New Comedy," in Women in Theatre, ed. J. Redmond (Cambridge 1989) 31-48.

SECTION 4: Roman Drama and Theatre

Plautus and Roman Theatre

W.S. Anderson, "Chapter 1: Plautus and the Deconstruction of Menander" in Barbarian Play: Plautus' Roman Comedy (Toronto 1993) 3-29.

W.S. Anderson, "Chapter 2: si amicus Diphilo aut Philemoni es: Plautus' Exploitation of Other Writers and Features of the Greek Comic Tradition" in Barbarian Play: Plautus' Roman Comedy (Toronto 1993) 30-59.

D. Bain, "Plautus vortit barbare: Plautus, Bacchides 526-61 and Menander, Dis Exapaton 102-12" in Creative Imitation and Latin Literature (Cambridge 1979) 17-34.

R. Beacham, "Chapter 3: Early Roman Stages" in The Roman Theatre and Its Audience (Harvard 1992) 56-85.

W. Beare, "Plautus and the Fabula Atellena," CR 44 (1930) 165-168.

F. Bernstein, "Complex Rituals: Games and Procession in Republican Rome," A Companion to Roman Religion (Wiley-Blackwell 2007) 222-234.

V. Castellani, "Captive Captor Freed: The National Theatre of Ancient Rome," Drama 3 (1995) 51-69.

M. Damen, "Actors and Act-Divisions in the Greek Original of Plautus' Menaechmi," CW 82.6 (1989) 409-420.

M. Damen, "Translating Scenes: Plautus' Adaptation of Menander's Dis Exapaton," Phoenix 46 (1992) 205-231.

M. Damen, "Actor, Character and Role in Chrysalus' 'Trojan Aria' (Bacchides 925-978)," Text and Presentation: Journal of the Comparative Drama Conference 16 (1995) 24-31.

M. Fontaine, "Innuendo and the Audience," Chapter 4 of Funny Words in Plautus (Oxford 2010) 149-200.

S. Goldberg, "Act to Action in Plautus' Bacchides," CPh 85.3 (1990) 191-201.

S.M. Goldberg, "Plautus on the Palatine," JRS 88 (1998) 1-20.

A.S. Gratwick, "'Titus Maccius Plautus'," CQ 67 (1973) 78-84.

E.W. Handley, Menander and Plautus: A Study in Comparison (H.K. Lewis & Co., London: 1968).

E.W. Handley, "Plautus and His Public: Some Thoughts on New Comedy in Latin," Dioniso 46 (1975) 117-131.

E.J. Jory, "Continuity and Change in the Roman Theatre," in Studies in Honor of T.B.L. Webster, edd. J.H. Betts, J.T. Hooker and J.R. Green (Bristol 1986) I, 143-152.

C.W. Marshall, "Quis Hic Loquitur: Plautine Delivery and the 'Double Aside,'" Syllecta Classica 10 (1999) 103-129.

T. Moore, "Seats and Social Status in the Plautine Theatre," CJ 90 (1994) 113-23.

T. Moore, Music in Roman Comedy (Cambridge 2012).

N. Slater, "Chapter 7: Words, Words, Words (Pseudolus)" in Plautus in Performance: The Theatre of the Mind (Princeton 1985) 118-146.

N. Slater, "Chapter 8: Convention and Reaction" and "Chapter 9: Playwriting as Heroism" in Plautus in Performance: The Theatre of the Mind (Princeton 1985) 147-178.

O. Taplin, "Comedy and Iconography (Chapter 4)" and "The Transplantation of Athenian Comedy (Chapter 9)" in Comic Angels (and Other Approaches to Greek Drama through Vase-Paintings) (Oxford Clarendon 1993).


W.S. Anderson, "Love Plots in Menander and His Roman Adapters," Ramus 13 (1984) 124-134.

W.G. Arnott, "The End of Terence's Adelphoe: A Postscript," G&R 10 (1963) 140-144.

R.R. Caston, "Reinvention in Terence's Eunuchus," TAPA 144 (2014) 41-70.

M. Damen, "Reconstructing the Beginning of Menander's Adelphoi (B)," ICS 12.1 (1987) 67-84.

M. Damen, "Structure and Symmetry in Terence's Adelphoe," ICS 15.1 (1990) 85-106.

M. Gamel, "Performing Terence and Hrotswitha" (2011).

S.M. Goldberg, "Chapter 3: The Well-Made Play" in Understanding Terence (Princeton 1986) 61-90.

S.M. Goldberg, "Chapter 8: The Death of Comedy" in Understanding Terence (Princeton 1986) 203-220.

D. Gilula, "The First Realistic Roles in European Theatre: Terence's Prologues," QUCC 33 (1989) 95-106.

W.R. Johnson, "Micio and the Perils of Perfection," CSCA 1 (1968) 171-186.

C. Lord, "Aristotle, Menander and the Adelphoe of Terence," TAPA 107 (1977) 183-202.

W. Ludwig, "The Originality of Terence and his Greek Models," GRBS 9 (1968) 169-182.

H. Parker, "Plautus Vs. Terence: Audience and Popularity Re-Examined," AJP 117 (1996) 585-617.

N. Slater, "Humani nil a me alienum puto: The Ethics of Terentian Performance," Syllecta Classica 10 (1999) 1-21.

G. Williams, Tradition and Originality in Roman Poetry (Oxford Clarendon 1968), pp. 285-296.

Seneca and Roman Tragedy

R. Beacham, "Chapter 5: Tragedy, Mime and Pantomine" in The Roman Theatre and Its Audience (Harvard 1992) 117-153.

A.J. Boyle, "Senecan Tragedy: Twelve Propositions," Ramus 16 (1977) 78-101.

C.D.N. Costa, Seneca (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1974), esp. chpt. 4, "The Tragedies."

H. Flower, "Fabulae Praetextae in Context: When Were Plays on Contemporary Subjects Performed in Republican Rome?" CQ 45 (1995) 170-190.

S.M. Goldberg, "The Fall and Rise of Roman Tragedy," TAPA 126 (1996) 265-86.

H.D. Jocelyn, "Introduction" in The Tragedies of Ennius (Cambridge 1967), 3-63.

T.D. Kohn, "Seneca's Use of Four Speaking Actors," CJ 100 (2005) 163-175.

A.L. Motto, Seneca, "Tragedies of Blood," Chapter 4 (Twayne, New York: 1973).

N.T. Pratt, Seneca's Drama, "Philosophical Drama," Chapter 4 (University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill: 1983).

W.J. Slater, "Pantomime Riots," CA 13 (1994) 120-144.

M. Wistrand, "Violence and Entertainment in Seneca the Younger," Eranos 88 (1990) 31-46.

Course Description
Class Grading and Projects
A Guide to Writing in History and Classics


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