Modern Drama: A Free Online Course

Course Code: ELL 306

Course Description: Modern day dramatic performances, live as well as those treated in different mediums of film and television, owe a lot to the genre of drama of antiquity. Building upon the prior knowledge of the key elements of the literary terms and techniques of drama learnt by students in the course of Classical Drama, this course will present some modern plays of the late nineteenth and twentieth century which have influenced the development of English drama. (Though the knowledge of literary terms acquired in Classical Drama will be of great help, yet this course can be studied as an entirely independent module). The dramas suggested for this course lend a considerable amount of variety to different forms of tragedy and comedy. The course is designed to impart, discuss, evaluate, and above all enjoy the spirit of modern drama. The socio-cultural aspects of society reflected in the drama of the selected age will also be highlighted along with its significance in our modern world.

Course Objectives
  • An overview of some of the most influential dramatists of modern age and their works with reference to their themes and dramatic techniques.
  • An emphasis on how certain dramatists are related to new ideas about the role of the theatre and its method.
  • A number of literary texts are read together with critical and theoretical discussions.

Course Contents
  1. Ibsen, Henrik A Doll’s House, (1879)
  2. Shaw, G. B.Arms and the Man (1894) / Man and Superman (1905)
  3. Beckett, Samuel Waiting for Godot, (1953)
  4. Brecht, Bertolt Life of Galileo (1943)
  5. Harold Pinter The Caretaker (1960)
  6. Anton Chekov Cherry Orchard (1904)
    Bonus Lessons
  7. 14 Fascinating Facts about Harold Pinter
  8. Mastering the Art of Drama: 25 Essential Literary Techniques and Elements to Know
  9. Exploring the Relationship Between Influential Dramatists and New Ideas about the Role of Theater
  10. Exploring the Works and Themes of Influential Modern Dramatists: An Overview
  11. Modern Drama FAQs: Answers to 34 Common Questions

Further Readings
  1. Billington, Michael. Harold Pinter. Faber and Faber. 1996
  2. Esslin, Martin The Theater of the Absurd. New York, Doubleday Anchor Books 1961.
  3. Evans, T. F. George Bernard Shaw. Routledge. 2013
  4. Fraser, G.S. The Modern Writer and His World. Rupa and Co. Calcutta, 1961.
  5. Kenner, Hugh Samuel Beckett: A Critical Study. New York, Grove Press, 1961.
  6. Mayor, Laura Reis. Four Major Plays of Ibsen. Penguin Group USA. 2008
  7. Rayfield Donald. Anton Chekov: A Life. Northwest University Press. 1997
  8. Tornquist, Egil. Ibsen’s The Doll’s House. Cambridge University Press. 1995
  9. White, John J. Bertolt Brecht’s Dramatic Theory. Camden House. 2004
  10. Williams, Raymond Drama from Ibsen to Brecht. Penguin in association with Chatto and Windus.

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