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Professor Elizabeth Vandiver provides a clear and succinct portrayal of Greek Tragedy. The lectures discuss how tragedy was developed, the three extant tragic playwrights, as well as the ways in which Greek Tragedy was staged. For as a professional theatre artist myself, I think many people look at Greek Tragedy as simply literature but in truth it was meant to be preformed. Professor Vandiver's facts are well researched and when she does give her own scholarly opinion she informs the listener. She also is very clear that the evidence on which our knowledge of this period are based is very scant, therefore the listeners should also be cautious of taking opinions as fact. However, I would warn a listeners that if you do not have a basic knowledge of Greek Mythology and/or Greek Theatre you may have a hard time following parts of the lecture. This course does assume that you come to the table with some knowledge.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Everytime I purchase a course from Professor Vandiver I end up very satisfied with my investment. Her courses on the Aeneid, the Oddyssey, and the Illiad were great. This one joined that group. I originally had no desire to check out her course "Classical Mythology" but I may purchase it as much because she is teaching it as the topic.
• The professor was easy to listen to (almost every sentence was easy to understand and she made her points fast)
• Great information on the origins of Greek tragedy, speculation on staging considerations, historical context in which the plays were performed, mythology background on which the plays’ plots were based, and the summary and critical analysis of the plots
Very minor minuses (and the positives definitely outweighed these):
• At times the professor spoke too fast and almost seemed to rush through some lectures, especially when providing background mythology information which made it hard to follow along with the stories
• While it was understandable that the professor could not cover every play in the time allotted, for completeness sake if she at least gave a quick plot summary of the nine Euripides plays she hadn’t discussed it would’ve exceeded expectations
• Instead of discussing all of Aeschylus’ works, then Sophocles, and then Euripides, there was some bouncing back and forth between the three tragedians’ works (mainly so as to point out differences and similarities between two plays by two different tragedians that concentrated on the same mythological source material but this made it a little difficult to keep track of how many plays have been covered for each tragedian)
I would recommend this course to anyone interested in theater, classical literature, or classical mythology.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Very engaging: rigorous and well read. I will enjoy Greek tragedy immeasurably more as a result of Professor Vandivers efforts
3 of 3 people found this review helpful