In this course, we will study the great tragic heroines of ancient Greek drama, focusing on Clytemnestra, Medea, Alcestis, Phaedra, the Trojan Women, Antigone. We will also read a contemporary novel, by Fay Weldon, that engages many of these mythic women. We will studythe Greek tragedies intensively, along with their reception in later art, from paintings to poems, stage productions to sculptures, operas to ballets. Our questions will include: why does Greek tragedy focus so intensely on women? Are the playwrights misogynists or do they express some sympathy for women? What about these female characters grabbed the imaginations not only of ancient Greek playwrights but of later writers, painters, composers, not to mention readers? How are their stories relevant to the 21st century? Did the ancient Athenians know something we don’t?