Preparation for Mon. May 15
1. Mull over the Gustavus production of Sophocles’ Electra. What struck you about this particular interpretation of the play or about any aspect of its performance (set design, music, dance, choreography)?
2. Read The Hunted, the second play in
Eugene O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra trilogy (i.e. pp. 319-373 of
our text). Be sure to read the scene-setting
as well as the script itself. As you
read, jot down your ideas about one of the following topics:
(a) In Friday’s class, we talked about how O’Neill brings to his play a Freudian psycho-analytical reading of the Oresteia myth, developing both the Oedipus complex (the son’s unnaturally strong attraction to his mother) and the Electra complex (the daughter’s excessive attachment to her father). Chart how this Freudian pattern unfolds in the second play.
(b) Pick two or three aspects of Greek tragedy (and esp. the tragedians’ treatment of the house of Argos) that are at the forefront of O’Neill’s second play (The Hunted) and track how they unfold in the play.
Preparation for Wed. May 17
1. Read The Haunted, the third play in Eugene O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra trilogy (i.e. pp. 375-424 of our text). Be sure to read the scene-setting as well as the script itself. As you read, jot down your ideas about the following question:
Aeschylus’ Oresteia trilogy ends the cycle of revenge by going to Athens, where vengeance-killings are replaced by a court of law, the Areopagus. In Sophocles’ Electra, attention is focused on Electra, the female protagonist of the play, until the killings at the end of the play, when we return to Orestes and his mission to regain his throne. Ezra Mannon said to Christine in The Homecoming (pp. 302-3): “All victory ends in the defeat of death. That’s sure. But does defeat end in the victory of death? That’s what I wonder!” How does O’Neill’s trilogy end, and how does Lavinia’s tragic choice affect your interpretation of the trilogy?
2. Put together your portfolio of written responses for the semester and bring it to class today. You can either put the responses in a binder or folder or can simply staple them together, adding a cover page with your name on it. Please be sure to arrange them in the right order. If you have done a rewrite of the version you turned in, please include both the original (graded) version and the new version. You only need to turn in 9 of the 12.
1. (Fri. Feb. 10): analysis of a stanza of the first stasimon of Aeschylus’ Agamemnon
2. (Wed. Feb. 15): staging of Aeschylus’ Libation Bearers and symbolic use of tomb
3. (Mon. Feb. 20): written brief defending/prosecuting Orestes based on Aeschylus’ Eumenides
4. (Fri. Feb. 24): workshop on scene of Sophocles’ Electra
5. (Fri. Mar. 3): director’s note on modern relevance of Sophocles’ Philoctetes
6. (Fri. Mar. 10): Euripides’ Trojan Women as a reflection of the experience of those displaced by war
7. (Wed. Mar. 15): Dionysus, theatricality and Euripides’ Bacchae
8. (Mon. Mar. 20): worksheet on contest between Aeschylus and Euripides in Aristophanes’ Frogs
9. (Fri. Mar. 24): group adaptation of a scene from Aristophanes’ Birds
10.(Fri. Apr. 7): character and coincidence in Menander’s Old Cantankerous
11. (Mon. Apr. 10): women in antiquity (research using Diotima) and Menander’s The Girl from Samos
12. (Mon. May 8): response to Prof. Morwood’s lecture or A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum