West Chester University

Spring 2003

West Chester University

Fall 2002

Spring 2002

Fall 2001





Course Information
  WRT 120 Syllabus
  Lit 165 Syllabus
  About the Instructor

Notes for Introduction to Literature
  Fundamental Questions About Literature
  Critical Approaches to Literature
  Approaching Literature
  Critical Thinking and Reading Literature
  Notes on Four Short Stories
  Defining the Short Story
  The Genesis of the Short Story
  The Art of the Short Story
  Responding to 'The Birthmark'
  Notes on Nathaniel Hawthorne
  A Guided Reading of 'Bartleby'
  'Bartleby--Questions for Analysis
  A Cultural Context for 'Bartleby'
  A Vocabulary for Fiction and Beyond
  Notes on Innovative Fiction
  Young Man on Sixth Avenue
  A Study Guide for the Fiction Exam
  Defining Poetry
  Reading Poetry
  The Craft of Poetry: Imagery
  Supplemental Poems
  The Craft of Poetry: Sound
  The Craft of Poetry: Structure
  Lines of Continuity
  Study Guide for the Poetry Exam
  The Birth of Greek Tragedy
  Stepping Through OEDIUPS THE KING
  Aristotle's 'Tragic Hero'
  Questions for Studying OEDIUPS
  The Relevance of OEDIPUS Today
  Study Guide for the Drama Exam

Notes for Effective Writing I
  Understanding the 'Rhetorical Situation'

  John Gardner

Announcements and Assignments
  WRT 120 Announcements
  WRT 120 Assignments
  LIT 165 Announcements
  Lit 165 Assignments


Go Exploring
  Weblog for WRT 120
  Weblog for LIT 165
  Writing Assistance on the Web

Join an Online Forum
  WRT 120 Composition Forum
  LIT 165 Introduction to Literature Forum

~~ A Study Guide for the Drama Exam ~~

Required Reading

The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature, 6/e

A Study of Sophocles (p. 969-976)
Oedipus the King (p. 976-1017)
On Tragic Character (p. 1018-1020)

Suggested Reading

Notes on this website:

The Birth of Drama
On Tragic Character
Stepping Through 'Oedipus the King'
Analyzing 'Oedipus the King'
The Relevance 'Oedipus'Today

Study Guide

Sophocles, Aristotle, and the Greek Theater

  • Who was Sophocles? In what ways did his work stand out and how was he innovative?
  • What were the theatrical conventions of Greek theater? Based on your reading of the play, which of these conventions are used in Oedipus the King?
  • How were ancient Greek plays structured? Define prologue, parados, episodia, stasimon, exodus.
  • What is tragedy? How does Michael Meyer, editor of your textbook, define literary tragedy (p. 973)? How did Aristotle define the tragic hero (p. 1018-20)? What effect should tragedy have on its audience? What is catharsis?
  • What is dramatic irony and where is it present in Oedipus the King?

After studying the play, you should be prepared to answer questions about:

  • the names, identities, character traits of all the characters in the play (you should know who is who, to the extent that you can identify the character given an example of his/her/their speech)
  • details concerning what happens throughout the play and how certain scenes advance the plot or develop character

After studying the play, you should be prepared to answer questions which ask you to analyze or interpret:

  • the role of the chorus, how it responds to the action in the play, particularly on pp. 981-82, 989, 999-1000, 1008-09, 1017.
  • the ways in which the play illustrates Aristotle's declarations about tragedy and tragic character
  • several themes evoked by the play, as discussed in class and/or in notes assigned on the course website






Questions? Contact me.

All materials unless otherwise indicated are copyright © 2001-2003 by Stacy Tartar Esch.
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