The etics of Drama


Comparative Studies of Ideas and Cultures (3rd level)

Slovene Studies – tradition and modernity

Koda predmeta: 88
Letnik: Brez letnika

Course principal:
Prof. Krištof Jacek Kozak, Ph. D.


Workload: lectures 60 hours, seminar 30 hours

Course type: general elective

Languages: Slovene, English

Learning and teaching methods: lectures, discussion classes


Course syllabus

Content (Syllabus outline)

The content of the course is an important component of every human activity, and thus also of his literary works of art, i.e. ethics. The research of ethical issues experiences a revival in its returning to the content of literary science as one of the key components of literature, within which drama has a particularly seminal role. The structure of drama puts conflict at the center, and this can always be described as a clash of values and, on their basis, of the actions of dramatic characters. The world’s best dramatic texts therefore open up and give consideration to ethical dilemmas, which are all the more important the more general problems they posit before us. The above applies to dramatic texts of all times: from ancient Greece to the present day, of course with varying degrees of involvement and intensity of ethical dilemmas. The course will present the central theoretical responses to ethical issues, which will then be examined alongside certain dramatic texts selected from different time and artistic periods. The purpose of the course is to precisely stratify ethical approaches to the issue, which is usually understood as a clash of values, i.e. of good and evil, as the problems exist in the details that make the subject matter all the more interesting.



  • Adamson, Jane; Richard Freadman; David Parker, ur. Renegotiating Ethics in Literature, Philosophy, and Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
  • Brie, Steve and William T. Rossiter, ur. Literature and Ethics: From the Green Knight to the Dark Knight. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010.
  • Davis, Todd F., Kenneth Womack, ur. Mapping the Ethical Turn: A Reader in Ethics, Culture, and Literary Theory. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 2001.
  • Edmiston, Brian. Drama as Ethical Education. Research in Drama Education, Vol. 5, No. 1, 2000, 63-84.
  • George, Stephen K. Ethics, Literature and Theory. Lanham etc.: Rowman and Littlefield, 2005.
  • Goldberg, Samuel. Agents and Lives: Moral Thinking in Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1993.
  • Henke, Christoph. Ethical Debates in Contemporary Theatre and Drama. European English Messenger Vol. 21, No. 2, 2012.
  • Hoffman, Gerhard, and Alfred Hornung, ur. Ethics and Aesthetics: The Moral Turn of Postmodernism. Heidelberg: Winter, 1996.
  • Hribar, Tine. Tragična etika svetosti: Sofoklova Antigona v evropski in slovenski zavesti. Ljubljana: Slovenska matica, 1991.
  • Rorty, Richard. Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
  • Virant, Špela; Irena Samide. Literatura in etika. Ljubljana: Slovensko društvo za primerjalno književnost, 2017.
  • Virk, Tomo. Etični obrat v literarni vedi. Ljubljana: Literarno-umetniško društvo Literatura, 2018
  • Wyschogrod, Edith, Gerald P. McKenny, ur. The Ethical. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2003.


Objectives and competences

The purpose of the lectures on the ethical qualities of drama is to shape the sensitivity of students to ethical approaches to the study of literature in general, and especially with regard to drama, whose specific conflict structure is even closer to everyday life. Students will be acquainted with the theoretical (philosophical, social, political, etc.) departure points of ethics and will be tested in their application to literary texts. The course is therefore interdisciplinary in the best tradition of Comparative literature and reaches across different periods and spaces. With the help of this kind of reflection, an attempt is also made to form the ability of students to analyze their own present, lived reality, as well as to train in-depth, because it is based on philosophical theory, study of literature.


Intended learning outcomes

The course will provide students with a starting point for their own reflection on their social modernity and help them to form sound judgments about values and the world.


At the same time, the knowledge gained in the course can be used in writing a scholarly text, which can serve as a draft chapter of a dissertation or scholarly article.



Long written assignment (60 %), presentation (20 %), final examination (written/oral) (20 %).



Ecoculture: Studies of Animals and Nature in Folklore, Literature and Culture ǀ

Assoc. Prof. Marjetka Golež Kaučič, Ph.D.,


Folk and Literary: Folklore and Intertextual Aspects ǀ

Assoc. Prof. Marjetka Golež Kaučič, Ph.D.,


Intertextuality and Cultural Memory ǀ

Prof. Marko Juvan, Ph. D.,


Ritual ǀ

Assoc. Prof. Marjetka Golež Kaučič, Ph.D.,


Short folklore forms in culture and society ǀ

Asist. prof. Saša Babič, Ph. D.,


Slovenian Emigrants between Tradition and the Present ǀ

Prof. Marina Lukšič Hacin, Ph.D.,


The etics of Drama ǀ

Prof. Krištof Jacek Kozak, Ph. D.,


The Language of Objects: Topics in Slovenian Material Culture ǀ

Prof. Maja Godina Golija, Ph.D.,


The Linguistic Identity of Slovenian Regions ǀ

Prof. Jožica Škofic, Ph.D.,


The Role of Woman in Slovenian Society and Culture ǀ

Assoc. Prof. Mirjam Milharčič Hladnik, Ph.D.,


Tradition and Ethics ǀ

Prof. Edvard Kovač, Ph.D.,


Tragedy in Theater, Culture, and Society ǀ

Prof. Krištof Jacek Kozak, Ph. D.,


Word – Music – Ritual ǀ

Assist. Prof. Metoda Kokole, Ph.D.,