Introduction to Literature - Drama

Course Number: ENG 105
Transcript Title: Intro to Literature - Drama
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: June 6, 2017
Total Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 40
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: No
Satisfies General Education requirement: Yes
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0

Prerequisite / Concurrent

Course Description

Enhances enjoyment of plays as literature, including tragedies and comedies; increases understanding of the conventions of drama and the theater; and encourages exploration of the diversity of human experience. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Engage, through the text, unfamiliar and diverse cultures, experiences and points of view.
  2. Articulate ways in which the text contributes to self-understanding.
  3. Recognize the text as a product of a particular culture and historical moment and its relationship to different art forms.
  4. Recognize the role of form and how it influences meaning by identifying the variety of stylistic choices that authors make within given forms.
  5. Evaluate various interpretations of a play and their validity through reading, writing and speaking, and through individual and group responses and analyze the support/evidence for a particular interpretation.
  6. Conduct research to find materials appropriate to use for literary analysis, using MLA conventions to document primary and secondary sources in written response to a literary text.

Alignment with Institutional Core Learning Outcomes

In-depth 1. Communicate effectively using appropriate reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. (Communication)


2. Creatively solve problems by using relevant methods of research, personal reflection, reasoning, and evaluation of information. (Critical thinking and Problem-Solving)
3. Extract, interpret, evaluate, communicate, and apply quantitative information and methods to solve problems, evaluate claims, and support decisions in their academic, professional and private lives. (Quantitative Literacy)


4. Appreciate cultural diversity and constructively address issues that arise out of cultural differences in the workplace and community. (Cultural Awareness)


5. Recognize the consequences of human activity upon our social and natural world. (Community and Environmental Responsibility)

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Acknowledge the possibility of multiple interpretations of a text; articulate various possible interpretations of a text; recognize that not all interpretations of a text are equally valid. Assessment tools may include responses to study questions; evaluation of small and full-group discussion; in-class and out-of-class writing exams and essays; and reviews of plays. Performance of scenes from plays may also be included as an assessment task.

Course Activities and Design

Lecture; Discussion; Group Work; Student Presentation

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Concepts, and Issues

  • Tragedy
  • Comedy
  • Romance
  • Satire
  • Allegory
  • Morality play
  • Revenge tragedy
  • Tragic comedy
  • Comedy of manners
  • Commedia dell'arte
  • Myth
  • Aristotle's definition of tragedy
  • Tragic Hero
  • Classical Drama
  • Elizabethan/Renaissance Drama
  • Restoration Drama
  • Realism
  • Modernism
  • Theater of the Absurd
  • Postmodernism
  • Monologue
  • Dialogue
  • Soliloquy
  • Staging
  • Stage directions
  • Setting
  • Scenes
  • Acts
  • Plot
  • Climax
  • Characters
  • Protagonist
  • Antagonist
  • Antihero
  • Theme
  • Chorus
  • Odes
  • Prologue
  • Epilogue
  • Strophe/antistrophe
  • Choragos
  • Blank verse
  • Free verse
  • Iambic pentameter
  • Couplet
  • Prose verse
  • Irony
  • Symbolism
  • Images
  • Conceits
  • Diction
  • Tone
  • Intertexuality
  • Structuralism/post-structuralism
  • Feminist criticism
  • Marxist criticism
  • New criticism/formalism
  • Psychoanalytic theory and criticism

Competencies and Skills

  • Analysis
  • Writing about drama.
  • Understanding drama through various contexts, such as social, historical, artistic convention, intertextual, playwright's vision.
  • Critical interpretation of dramatic performance on video or live theater.
  • Critical reading of reviews.
  • Speaking and listening reflectively.
  • Small-group collaboration.