E445 – Modern British and European Drama

Credit Hours:

Course Level:

Semesters Offered:

Prerequisite: One course in Literature.

Description: The course will cover two discrete movements in drama over the past hundred years: realism and naturalism, movements that attempt to depict the world as it is or as it appears to be, and antirealism (expressionism, absurdity) that attempts to shatter conventional notions of reality in staging, language, and theme. Both movements incorporate philosophical, psychological, and linguistic theories arising from the period that produced them. Each playwright studied will be presented within the context of his/her milieu and the particular intellectual forces that shaped their world.

The course includes a brief history of major dramatic forms preceding the modern period and a brief discussion of major philosophical, political, scientific, theological, and linguistic changes in modern thought and their connections to literature in general and drama in particular.

Representative realist dramatists include Ibsen, Strindberg, and Chekhov.

Representative anti-realist dramatists include Buchner, Jarry, Pirandello, Brecht, Beckett, Pinter, and Churchill.