Course | Searching for Feminists in Athens’ Golden Age with Sadhbh Walshe (virtual)[in-progress]

Date / Time

  • June 1, 2022
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
  • June 15, 2022
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm



  • Tuition for this course is $200. 10% off for Rosenbach members for the Delancey Society. Not a member? Learn more.
  • This course is limited to participants who are 17 years of age or older.
  • Before the first meeting, The Rosenbach will send the Zoom link for course meetings. 
  • If you have questions, please call (215) 732-1600 or email [email protected].
  • Registration opens for Delancey Society members on March 2, for members on March 9, and for the general public on March 16.


Course Description

In recent years, many scholars have been re-evaluating the great works of Ancient Greek theatre through a feminist lens. The tragedies and comedies that were written by the four major playwrights of Athenian Golden Age – Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes – feature some powerful and extraordinary women who do not shy away from attempting to control their own destinies. Characters like Clytemnestra, Antigone, Medea, and Lysistrata, to name a few, are increasingly viewed as anachronistic feminist icons who stood up to their men folk, often at great personal cost. But while modern day audiences and readers may see much to admire in these undeniably complex women, some scholars believe that any feminist revisionism is misguided. They remind us that the writer’s intention may not have been to celebrate these independent women but rather to demonstrate the danger they posed to men and to society.   

So, which is it? Well, that’s what we hope to find out in this course as we explore selected works from each of the aforementioned writers –Lysistrata and The Women’s Assembly by Aristophanes, Medea and Trojan Women by Euripides, Antigone and Elektra by Sophocles, and Aeschylus’ Oresteia (a trilogy of plays comprising Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and The Eumenides.) In addition to closely examining these plays through a feminist lens, we will learn about the playwrights’ lives, the major events that were taking place in 5th century Athens which informed their work 

Searching For Feminists in Athens’ Golden Age Syllabus

About the Instructor

Sadhbh Walshe is a New York based Irish writer and journalist. She has written op-eds and features for The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, NBC, CBS, The Irish Times, The Chicago Tribune, Al Jazeera America and she wrote a weekly opinion column for The Guardian. She was awarded a John Jay/ H.F Guggenheim justice fellowship and was named a Soros Justice fellowship finalist for her year-long Guardian series, Inside Story: The US Prison System. She was an associate producer for the TV pilot The District on CBS and was a staff writer for the syndicated TV series. She wrote and directed the award-winning short film Miss Bertram’s Awakening and her new play, The Write Off, recently had its inaugural performance in New York. Previously, Sadhbh taught the Writing Irish Women course for the Rosenbach. 

About Rosenbach Courses

Revisit beloved classics or experience new ones with Rosenbach courses. Book lovers delve into fiction, history, and poetry with the guidance of a literary expert and the company of other readers. See all upcoming courses.

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