CADRECentre for Ancient Drama and its Reception
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Related studies

CADRE members across the University teach a range of modules, both undergraduate and postgraduate, reflecting their different areas of expertise.

These modules keep the study of ancient drama and its reception vibrant at Nottingham.

Undergraduate Studies

Postgraduate Studies

Performance in the ancient Greek theatre in Syracuse

Performance in the ancient Greek theatre in Syracuse.



Undergraduate Studies

Department of Classics – School of Humanities

Core Modules

Modules marked with an asterisk (*) can be taken by students from outside the department.

An introduction to Greek and Roman drama is provided in the first-year introductory module Interpreting Ancient Literature (Q81LIT*). Drama (and its reception) may be the subject of a case-study in Classics and Popular Culture (Q82CPC*) or a worksheet in Extended Source Study (Q82ESS) or Studying Classical Scholarship (Q82SCS).

Students may also focus on drama topics in their Independent Second-Year Project (Q82105) or Dissertation (Q83DIS). In addition the Department offers many dedicated drama modules.

Optional Modules 

Taught in Translation
Blood and Ghosts: Senecan Tragedy (Q83SET)

This module for second and third-year students, taught through a mixture of lectures and seminars, provides an introduction to the only complete Roman tragedies to have survived. The Roman philosopher Seneca’s mythological dramas, such as Medea, Thyestes, Phaedra and Oedipus, as well as the pseudo-Senecan historical play, Octavia, have played an important part in the reception of ancient drama since the Renaissance. Themes covered include the relationship between Senecan and Greek tragedy, the question of performance of the tragedies, whether they were they intended to be propaganda for Stoicism as well as their reception in the Renaissance and modern world, especially by the Theatre of Cruelty.

If there is space, students from outside the department may take this module.

Euripides: Experiments in Tragedy? (Q83343)

This module for second and third-year students, taught through a mixture of lectures and seminars, involves a detailed study of selected plays by Euripides in English translation; reference is also made to the other Greek tragedians in order to contextualise the work of Euripides in relation to the genre as a whole, and evaluate the extent to which he was an innovator. There is an emphasis on issues of performance, both ancient and modern. The prescription includes a substantial number of plays, including several that are less widely known, demonstrating the range of different approaches to tragedy taken by Euripides.

If there is space, students from outside the department may take this module.

Greek Drama and its Reception (Q83GDR)

This Special Subject module, for third-year students in the Department of Classics, is taught entirely through small group seminars with the emphasis on student participation. Students study (in translation) a selection of tragedies and comedies composed for the ancient Greek stage as well as a number of plays from later periods which have been influenced by the Greek dramas, acquiring good knowledge of the plays and considering different critical approaches to them. An example of such study could be Aechylus’ Oresteia, the Agamemnon of Seneca, and the American trilogy of Eugene O’Neill, Mourning Becomes Electra; or Euripides’ Hippolytus, Seneca’s Phaedra, Racine’s Phèdre and Tony Harrison’ Phaedra Britannica. Each play is studied in its context and attention is paid to different factors influencing the new versions of the ancient drama.

Roman Comedy (Q83ROC)

This module for second- and third-year students, taught through a mixture of lectures and seminars, provides an introduction to and intensive study of the work of Plautus and Terence in translation. A number of the plays, such as Plautus’ The Braggart Soldier, The Pot of Gold, Amphitryon (the only comedy based on mythology), and Terence’s Brothers and Hecyra (The Mother-in-Law) are read. Attention is paid to their links with Greek comedy, their view of Roman society and their influence on later drama. The study may include adaptations such as the musical, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

If there is space, students from outside the department may take this module.

Taught in Greek
Intermediate Greek (Q83IG1/2, Q84IGR)

These modules, for students at any stage in their studies who have completed the modules Beginners Greek 1-2 (or equivalent elsewhere), provide students with their first opportunity to apply understanding of Greek grammar to actual ancient Greek text, one in prose and the other in verse. The verse text may be Sophocles’ Antigone.

Advanced Greek/Greek Texts (Q83AG1/2, Q81GT1/2, Q82GT3/4, Q83GT5/6, Q84AGR)

These modules, for students who have completed an A-level in Greek or the modules Intermediate Greek 1-2 (or equivalent elsewhere), continue providing opportunities to read ancient Greek texts with increasing levels of sophistication. Verse texts taught include Euripides’ Cyclops.


Department of German – School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

Optional Module

Mythology in German Literature: Medea (R23243)

(This final year module, taught partly in German, is open to final year students. Students with very good knowledge of German from outside the Department of German Studies can contact the convenor to discuss participation.)

This year-long 20 credit module explores how select German literary texts use motifs from ancient mythology and how individual authors combine the ‘old’ stories with ‘new’ content and message. We focus on Medea, the powerful and horrific wife of Jason who – according to the Classical myth – kills the sons she loves to hurt Jason whom she hates and scare Greek society that alienated her. Using Euripides’ ancient version as a starting point (in translation) we look closely at how the myth is used, changed and reinvented in German texts written between 1926 and 1998. Theoretical writings on mythology and its reception provide us with relevant background knowledge and we also look at the reception of the Medea myth in paintings, film, theatre and music.

Convenor: Dr Heike Bartel


Postgraduate Studies

MA Courses

The Department of Classics offers three MA courses to accommodate students with interests in the literary, historical or visual aspects of antiquity. The courses share a core module that introduces a range of approaches to the ancient world (Q84087 Researching the Ancient World).

Students may also take language modules, modules outside the Department or optional modules that are taught from an interdisciplinary perspective. 

Except on the language modules, students are encouraged to focus on aspects of the module’s topic that relate to their own interests, including any interest in ancient drama.

Examples of Departmental Optional modules

  • Q84TST Telling Stories in Greek and Roman Culture

  • Q83ANC The Ancient City

Examples of modules offered by the Faculty

  • V44MUS Museums Today: Approaches to Museums and Cultural Heritage Institutions

Students with an interest in the ancient dramatic texts, their performance, or their reception in the post-classical world, may be interested in:

MA Classical Literature Students with an interest in social-historical aspects of ancient drama, eg its role in Athenian democracy or in the Hellenisation of Roman society, may be interested in the MA Classical Literature or:

MA Ancient History Students with an interest in the representation of ancient drama on vases and wall-paintings, or in any other aspects of the relationship between ancient drama and ancient art, may be interested in:

MA The Visual Culture of Classical Antiquity



The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example research developments or legislative changes. This list is an example of typical modules that we offer, not a definitive list.

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Centre for Ancient Drama and its Reception

Department of Classics
University of Nottingham
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 951 4800
fax: +44 (0)115 951 4811