10 Jan. Introduction


Welcome to ENG 215: Animals on Stage. Most class periods will feature a post like this one that includes a overview of the day’s goals and an activity.

  • 1. Overview of course goals, policies, and assignments–how to find upcoming readings & course site features (ex:discussion questions)
  • 2. Meet & Greet
  • 3. Intro. to The Oresteia & the role of the animal on stage


Activity I: Animals on Stage

Freewrite in response to the following prompt without stopping for 3-5 minutes:
When you think of animal performers what comes to mind? Describe your favorite TV/film or stage animal? What can animals do in TV/film or on stage that people cannot?



Activity II: Introduction to Aeschylus’s Oresteia

I’m going to the play the Watchman’s opening speech from Agamemnon, the first of three tragedies by Aeschylus that were staged in 458 BC. But first, respond to the following:
  • 1. Tell me what you all remember about the fall of Troy: how did it start? How did it end? What happened after? What accounts for the story’s longevity?
  • 2. Take a few minutes and read through the Watchman’s speech: what metaphors strike you as significant? How/does he force himself to stay awake? What important information does he relate?
  • 3. When we watch the clip of the Watchman below, pay attention to the staging. What effect does the mask that the actor wears have on his performance? Does seeing Watchman challenge/compliment your reading of the text?