The Power and Poetry of the Great Greek Tragedians

Margery Marcus
Drama / Arts & Letters

Course Description

Overarching arrogance, fatal flaws in judgment, and revenge beyond reason characterize the ancient Greek writers, Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. Their plays set the stage (literally) for dramatic conventions that characterize tragedy to this day. Works such as Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex and Euripides’ Medea highlight the universal nature of the human condition, and are as relevant today as they were when first performed. This presentation examines the history of Greek drama from the sixth century BCE when Thespis, the first actor, took the stage through the works of the three great Athenian playwrights. Dr. Marcus discusses Aeschylus, the first tragedian whose set the standard, Sophocles whose Oedipus cycle both horrifies and fascinates audiences 2500 years after it was written, and Euripides who captured betrayal and jealousy on a scale rarely duplicated.

About the Instructor

  • Margery Marcus, EdD retired from Broward County Public Schools after a long and successful teaching career. She has taught English at every grade level from middle school through graduate school, currently focusing on lecturing to adult audiences. Her career has been guided by a deep love of learning and a passion for literature which began when she read the very first page of Charlotte’s Web as a child. Her enthusiasm for sharing great stories told by great writers, motivates her to bring literature to life for her audiences. Marcus holds a BA in English, and a  master's and doctorate in Education.