Throughout the Western literary tradition, women have frequently been presented as strong, self-reliant iconoclasts. This course will examine how narrative artists have used the strong woman protagonist to critique and assess the consequences of the disenfranchisement of women in Western society.
We will look at strong women in the Bible, such as Deborah, Ruth and Esther. And we’ll consider Medea, Elektra and Antigone from ancient Greek drama. Shakespeare, of course, created many strong female characters, and we’ll cover those too, along with Carmen and Salome from the world of opera. In modern drama we’ll examine Racine’s Phèdre, Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler and Nora Helmer, and Shaw’s Eliza Doolittle.
Note: Back by popular demand, from spring 2010.
Please note that enrollment in this course is reserved for adults 55+.