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Classics/Drama: Sophocles’ Theban Plays in the 21st Century: Tragedy, Politics and Adaptation With Dr Birgit Breidenbach From University of East Anglia

7th March 2023 @ 16:15 - 17:15

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In this Classics/Drama session, Dr Birgit Breidenbach, Lecturer in Literature and Philosophy in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing at University of East Anglia, will run an interactive talk for students on Sophocles’ Theban Plays in the 21st Century: Tragedy, Politics and Adaptation.

In this session, we will explore Sophocles’ Theban plays, which are among the most influential and popular dramatic texts of all time. Focusing on Antigone in particular (but also drawing on Oedipus the King), we’ll first explore Sophocles’ approach to tragedy: what makes his protagonists and their fates tragic? What is the essence of Sophoclean tragedy?

We’ll then explore the plays from a contemporary perspective, considering ways in which modern adaptations, such as Kamila Shamsie’s recent novel Home Fire (2017), have restaged their tragic conflicts within different political and cultural contexts. We’ll thereby gain an insight into the ways in which these classic texts can still compellingly speak to us and to our contemporary moment. 

The session will develop thinking, skills and approaches to support students in their Classics/Drama studies and future aspirations.


Lecturer Profile (Please Click): Dr Birgit Breidenbach


Our events are designed so that a group of students can take part from a classroom or students and teachers can take part as individuals, either from school or from home. This means that sessions will continue irrespective of possible school closures.

As a live, participative event, this session will not be recorded but slides and other resources will be shared after the event, where available.


Suitable for: Year 12 & 13 students (and equivalent) studying, or with a possible interest in studying, Classics/Drama and related disciplines. Student groups as well as students and teachers joining individually are very welcome.

Preparation/Pre-Reading: Students may wish to consider the topic in advance and questions they have. Students can also think about questions about studying Classics/Drama at university level.

The IT Setup: The event will be run on Bluejeans (similar to Zoom) and participants will be able to join using laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. If you are joining as a school group, we recommend connecting with one device and projecting on to a whiteboard. You will be able to interact with the university via a microphone and/or typed comments and questions. Full details will be sent to those who have registered (see below) prior to the event.

Booking a Place: This is free for schools and colleges. If you would like to take part in this event, please register your interest using the link to the registration form below:

Register here


7th March 2023
16:15 - 17:15
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