Greek MA

Reasons to be Cheerful: Greek Comedy with Aristophanes and Menander GREEK4029

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course studies two Greek comedies in the original language, one each from Aristophanes and Menander. One strand of the course looks at the language, metre, form and technique of these plays, and a second sets them in the wider context of Greek Old and New Comedy, and explores different approaches to this evolving genre. 


2x1hr seminars over 10 weeks as scheduled in MyCampus. This is one of the honours options in Greek and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Excluded Courses





Exam (2-hour duration) - 60%

Essay (2000 words) - 40%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. Where, exceptionally, reassessment on Honours courses is required to satisfy professional/accreditation requirements, only the overall course grade achieved at the first attempt will contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Explore two Greek comedies against the broader traditions of Greek Old and New Comedy

■ Discuss ancient humour within its original contexts

■ Consider a range of methodological approaches to humour

■ Relate ancient komoidia to modern categories of humour

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Translate Greek comedy accurately and fluently into English

■ Identify the formal characteristics of Greek comedy and compare its two main variants (Old and New Comedy).

■ Relate the texts to their social, cultural and political context

■ Develop their own arguments about the nature of the comic form

■ Use and critique comparative strategies in approaching ancient humour

■ Evaluate critical approaches to humour and comedy through discussion of the set texts

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.