Racine (LIT4157.01)

Dan Hofstadter

During the seventeenth century France rose to unparalleled heights of literary creativity. We explore the historical context of this development, devoting some attention to classical models, particularly Euripedes’ play Andromache. Jean Racine, who was at times in conflict with the royal court, offered his tragedies Andromaque, Phedre, Berenice, Iphigenie, and others, which we study in English translation, a fiercely dramatic presentation of human passions confined within narrow and threatening circumstances. Also to be studied and enjoyed is the cultural background of the period, as exemplified by the religious philosopher Pascal and various painters, especially Nicolas Poussin, who was strongly influenced for a while by the philosophical current of neo-Stoicism, which esteemed friendship as the highest earthly value.

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Please contact him at dhofstadter@bennington.edu by November 3, and if you are a freshman or sophomore who has not worked with him include a writing sample of not more than four pages. Class lists will be posted November 10.
Credits: 4
W 2:10pm - 6:00pm
Maximum Enrollment: 20
This course is categorized as All courses, Four Credit, Literature, 4000, Dan Hofstadter, and tagged .