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The plays of one ancient city 2,500 years ago by just four playwrights have had a profound effect on the development of all subsequent Western drama, not only on the theatrical stage, but on opera, film, television, stand-up comedy, and dance-in fact, most, if not all, of the live arts owe a debt to the theatre of ancient Greece and the city of Athens. This course will examine the social, historical, and political context of ancient Greek drama and equip listeners with a set of critical analytical tools for developing their own appreciation of this vitally important genre. The course will focus on the four extant playwrights, aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes, and examine each of their plays closely.