If you’re teaching any of the Greek plays…

…I want to recommend the work of Daniel Mendelsohn, which appears in many places if you Google his name + Greek plays.  His most recent offering in the New York Review of Books: ‘How Greek Drama Saved the City’ confirms my sense that I can learn a very great deal from him, a great deal that I can pass on to my students and colleagues.  His very readable discussion of how the plays we often teach from this era fit into the culture of the time, their connection Aristotle’s Poetics (so often misunderstood and misused by our students when they discuss Oedipus Rex or Antigone or Medea) and the role of the plays in the Greater or City Dionysia, the religious and civic festival, just strikes me as invaluable.  It is worth taking notes from, enlightening ourselves and our students, improving the whole business of the Interactive Orals and Reflective Statements involving the Greek plays.  I urge you to read not only this article but others of his, easily found on Google.

How Greek Drama Saved the City

 

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