This Subject Includes

  • Course No: HS 144
  • Course: B.Tech
  • Semester: V
  • Title: Drama from Aristotle to Goethe
  • Stream: English
  • Preamble: As a form of ritual as well as entertainment, the theatre has served to unite communities and challenge social norms, to purge, vitalize and disturb its audiences. Drama achieves this important socio-cultural function through a combination of the literary arts of storytelling (often in verse) with the world of live performance. In order to understand this rich art form, this course will study its origin and development in the ancient and early modern world through a sampling of plays that exemplify different kinds of dramatic structure and practice. It will further provide an overview of the development of dramatic theory of the period with readings from major philosophers and thinkers to facilitate informed critical engagement with the texts.

    Course Content: Theatre architecture and history: classical origins, miracle and morality plays, five act play; Genres: tragedy, comedy, dark comedy, closet, masque, comedy of manners; Major playwrights: Aeschylus, Sophocles, Aristophanes, Plautus, Terence, Seneca, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Jonson, Kyd, Calderón, Molière, Racine, Sheridan, Goethe; Theories of theatre and critical apparatus: Aristotle, Horace, Bharata, Castelvetro, Sidney, Corneille, Dryden, Rousseau, Schiller, Schlegel, Goethe; Bhārata: Nātyaśāstra; Aristotle: Poetics; Kālidasa: Abhijñānaśakuntalam; Sophocles: Oedipus the King; William Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice.


    1. Stoler Miller, Barbara, ed. Theater of Memory: The Plays of Kalidasa. Columbia University Press, 1984.

    2. Puchner, Martin et al. eds. The Norton Anthology of Drama. New York: Norton, (3rd ed.), 2017.