Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Prerequisite: Demonstrated proficiency in English by placement via multiple measures OR through an equivalent placement process OR completion of ESLL 125 & ESLL 249.
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in DRAM 2A or ENGL 42A.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area I: Humanities
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Successful students will be able to employ new perspectives and skills as applied to interpreting dramatic texts for content, plot development, image interpretation, language structure, character motivation, genre as needed in an employment situation
  • Successful students will develop relevant perception, social placement and regional inspiration of plays from Ancient Egypt through Elizabethan England from both Eastern and Western cultures as they apply to historical timelines.
  • Successful students will actively apply content understanding to reflecting upon behaviors universal in human nature both past and present and will creatively apply these perspectives in employment situations.


The study of the history of theatre from its origins in the East and West through the 17th century. The history and development of theatre and drama are studied through reading and analyzing representative masterpieces of dramatic literature from Aeschylus to Moliere in relationship to cultural, political and social conditions of the time.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Assess the historical relevance, context and importance of different plays.
B. Outline the historical development of theatre from the Greeks through the 17th century.
C. Classify and differentiate the basic structures of dramatic literature.
D. Compare and distinguish a number of plays within an historical frame of reference.
E. Evaluate and interpret the relationship between a play as literature and a play as a living art form.
F. Demonstrate critical thinking and communication skills, such as listening, reasoning, analysis and criticism, when reading or viewing plays.

Course Content

A. Literary analysis of dramatic works from Ancient Egypt through the 17th century
1. Setting
2. Plot
3. Character
4. Imagery
5. Language structure and characteristics
6. Cultural aesthetic and relevance
B. Dramatic genres
1. Tragedy
2. Comedy and satire
3. Satyr play
4. Morality play
5. Noh, Doll and Kabuki
6. Sanskrit
7. Peking opera
C. History of dramatic literature
1. Greek
2. Roman
3. Asian (Japan, India, China)
4. Medieval and Dark Ages
5. Elizabethan
6. Restoration
7. Neoclassic
D. Analysis of performance and presentation
1. Artist and audience analysis
2. Performance demands and characteristics
3. Venues
4. Social relevance and impact

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. When taught via Foothill Global Access: on-going access to computer with email software capabilities; email address; JavaScript-enabled internet browsing software.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

A. Research essays
B. Examination
C. In-class writings
D. In-class participation and discussion postings

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

A. Lecture presentations and classroom discussion using the language of theatre.
B. In-class reading of dramatic texts by the instructor and students followed by instructor-guided interpretation and analysis.
C. Group presentations of major projects followed by in-class discussion and evaluation.
D. Individual oral presentations of play analysis followed by class discussion.

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Worthen, W.B. The Wadsworth Anthology of Drama. 6th ed. Cengage, 2011. ISBN-13: 9781428288140 (most recent publication)

Additional scripts may be used at instructor's discretion:

Aeschylus: The Oresteia

Sophocles: Oedipus Rex

Euripides: Medea, The Trojan Women

Aristophanes: Lysistrata

Plautus: The Brothers Manaechmus

Kalidasa: Shakuntala

Anonymous: The Second Shepard's Play, Everyman

Chikamatsu: Love Suicides at Sonezaki

Chushingura: The Forty-Seven Samurai

Marlowe: The Lamentable Tragedy of Doctor Faustus

Shakespeare: Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear, The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest

Jonson: Volpone

Beaumont: The Knight of the Burning Pestle

Benn: The Rover

Moliere: The Misanthrope, Tartuffe

(Students are able to purchase various new or used editions of these plays to assure economy.)

When taught via Foothill Global Access: supplemental lectures, handouts, tests and assignments delivered via email and/or internet; feedback on tests and assignments delivered via email and/or internet; class discussion may be delivered in chat rooms, listservs, and newsgroups.


Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Reading assigned plays and supporting texts.

B. Journal responses to readings.

C. Written analysis of readings.

D. Individual/group projects.

E. Posting to discussion platforms.



English, Theater Arts