The Tragic Moment


From the famous Greek classics to modern works like Death of a Salesman, dramatic tragedy is marked by the isolation of the protagonist. This course will examine Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex and Shakespeare’s much-overlooked Titus Andronicus to see how the tragic moment comes about, what that moment means for the heroes and the characters who revolve around the heroes, and in what ways the tragic isolation contrasts with the collective moment in comedy.

As we read the plays, let us consider what understandings we can derive about our own 21st century lives. What part in our existence is played by isolation, and what by fellowship? How does the theatre experience inform our view of ourselves?


Required reading: Sophocles, The Oedipus Cycle (trans. Fitts and Fitzgerald), ISBN 978-0156027649; Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, ISBN 978-1420958416.

About the Instructor

Paul Kalkstein holds degrees in English from Princeton and Yale. He has taught both of these works to many years of students at Phillips Academy, Andover.


Paul Kalkstein



9:30-11:30 a.m.
6-week course begins Sept. 11



Class meets at UMA Brunswick Center, Orion Hall, 12 Sewall St., Brunswick, Room 101