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CLA 123 — Sophocles and the Golden Age of Greece

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Jan 14—Mar 4
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Drop Deadline: Jan 16
Unit: 1
Tuition: $410
Instructor(s): Barbara Clayton
Status: Registration opens Nov 30, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: Some of our refund deadlines have changed. See this course's drop deadline above and click here for the full policy.
Winter
Live Online(About Formats)
Thursdays
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Date(s)
Jan 14—Mar 4
8 weeks
Drop By
Jan 16
1 Unit
Fees
$410
Instructor(s):
Barbara Clayton
Registration opens Nov 30, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: Some of our refund deadlines have changed. See this course's drop deadline above and click here for the full policy.
Almost everything the Western tradition identifies as “Classical” can be traced to 5th-century BCE Athens, a period so extraordinary it has come to be known as the Golden Age of Greece. During this time, the arts flourished as never before. Indeed, tragedy was born in that century and, according to Aristotle, brought to a state of perfection by the tragic poet Sophocles. Although Sophocles might have written more than 120 tragedies, only seven have survived. This course consists of a careful reading of all seven of his surviving plays. Students will have the opportunity to delve into such famous masterpieces as Antigone and Oedipus the King, as well as to appreciate the less familiar tragedies: Oedipus at Colonus, Ajax, The Trachiniae, Electra, and Philoctetes. As we explore the dramatic and literary brilliance that Sophocles demonstrates in these plays, we will also find a fascinating reflection of the remarkable historical and cultural achievements of the Athenians during their Golden Age, such as the West’s first experiment with democracy, and the tremendous intellectual growth that accompanied this time of prosperity and innovation.

Barbara Clayton, Independent Scholar

Barbara Clayton has taught Classics at Oberlin College, Santa Clara University, and Stanford, where she was a lecturer in a freshman humanities program for many years. Since 2015, she has taught for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She is the author of A Penelopean Poetics: Reweaving the Feminine in Homer’s Odyssey. Clayton received a PhD in Classics from Stanford.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Robert Fagles, trans., Sophocles, The Three Theban Plays: Antigone; Oedipus the King; Oedipus at Colonus (ISBN 978-0140444254)
(Required) Peter Burian and Alan Shapiro, eds., The Complete Sophocles: Volume II: Electra and Other Plays (ISBN 978-0195373301)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)