Masterminds and Martyrs: Women in Ancient Greek Drama

Women in Ancient Greek Drama

While women in fifth-century Athens were largely absent from the public arena, they held center stage in Greek drama, which was a centerpiece of civic pride. How do we understand the powerful presence of female characters in a society in which real women were seldom seen or heard? We will read tragedies by Euripides and Sophocles—some well-known, like Medea, and others less widely performed—as well as two comedies by Aristophanes, Lysistrata and Women at the Assembly, and consider whether these imaginary women fulfilled or upended the gender expectations of the Athenian audience. No knowledge of Greek literature or history is required.

Instructor: Elizabeth Bobrick

Six Thursdays: February 22, March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
Wasch Center, Butterfield Room
Elizabeth Bobrick
ELIZABETH BOBRICK is a visiting scholar in Wesleyan’s Department of Classical Studies, where she has taught ancient Greek language and literature. She is currently teaching Greek tragedy at Cheshire Correctional Facility as part of Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education. In addition, she has been a visiting writer in the Department of English, the College of Letters, and Graduate Liberal Studies. Her publications range from scholarly articles on Aristophanes, Sophocles, and Theophrastus to essays on an array of topics, from baseball to seasonal teaching anxiety. She received her PhD from Johns Hopkins University.