Course overview

Ancient Greek tragedies have held an enduring interest for audiences and readers since their first performances in Athens in the 5th century BCE. Performed with both ancient and modern settings, revised and adapted, they retain their relevance to human action and understanding. In this course we will read and discuss three linked ancient Greek tragedies by Aeschylus: Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers and The Eumenides, together known as the Oresteia. We will consider plots, themes, characters and why they continue to be so popular with audiences. All texts will be studied in English translations: no previous knowledge is assumed.

Course description

Ancient Greek tragedies have held an enduring interest for audiences and readers since their first performances in Athens in the 5th century BCE. Performed with both ancient and modern settings, revised and adapted, they retain their relevance to human action and understanding. In this course we will study three linked plays by Aeschylus that focus on the cycle of vengeance following Agamemnon’s return from the Trojan War: Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers and The Eumenides, together known as the Oresteia.

This course will take a close look at the three plays, considering themes, characters and how (or whether) the plays work together as a trilogy. Through friendly and accessible discussion of extracts from the texts, we will learn more about the plays and their key features. Students will develop a better understanding of their continued popularity and relevance to audiences and readers over the centuries since they were first performed.

While you will get the most from the course by reading the plays in their entirety, short extracts for discussion will be downloadable from Canvas, where links to further reading will also be provided for those who wish to extend their learning. All texts will be studied in English translation: no previous knowledge is assumed.

What financial support is available?

We don't want anything to stand in your way when it comes to bringing Adult learning within reach so if you need anything to support you to achieve your goals then speak to one of our education experts during your enrolment journey. Most of our courses are government funded but if you don't qualify or need alternative financial help to access them then let us know.

What other support is available?

All of our digital content, teaching and learning activities and assessments are designed to be accessible so if you need any additional support you can discuss this with the education experts during your enrolment journey and we will do all we can to make sure you have optimal access.

Share this page:

Lady giving a thumbs up to her tablet as she watches a WEA member lecture
Image overlay triangle

Become a WEA member today

For just £15 per year, you can access many great benefits, including our award-winning weekly member lectures.

Need more information?

Need help? Complete our form and our friendly Support Services team will be back in touch.

Course contact
I am most interested in (tick all that apply)

How do we use the information we gather from you?
Please see our privacy policy.