Ten Plays That Shook the World
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Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Undergraduate Studies
Course Number: NLIT 3802
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
- Theater History, Theory & Criticism
The plays analyzed and discussed in this course are considered milestones in the history of theater because of their innovative use of language, form, and thematic treatment and the insights they provide into the human soul. They all test our aesthetic, intellectual, and emotional boundaries, leading us to reflect on the nature of love, ambition, loneliness, and self-righteousness, and they ultimately deal with the universality of the human condition. We begin in the classical period, reading Sophocles' Antigone and Euripides' The Trojan Women. We move on to the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, reading Shakespeare's Hamlet and Goethe's Faust. Continuing into European modernism, we read Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, Ibsen's A Doll's House, and Strindberg's Dance of Death. Finally, we examine the radical currents in Brecht's Mother Courage, Ionesco's The Bald Soprano, and Beckett's Waiting for Godot.