Leonard Peikoff's "Eight Great Plays"

Lead Faculty
ARU Faculty

$1,000.00

This is a guided study of Leonard Peikoff’s “8 Great Plays” course, in which Dr. Peikoff selects eight masterpieces of world literature and analyzes them as great works of drama and as works that implicitly convey complete philosophies of life. ARU faculty supplement Dr. Peikoff’s lectures with live discussions and assignments that further explore the plays and the principles underlying Ayn Rand’s view that art is an indispensable need of human life.

October 2022 – March 2023

Or

Wednesdays, 12:00 – 2:00 pm Pacific Time

Live Class

October 5, 2022

Start Date

Lead Faculty

open

Registration

100

Level

q1, q2

Quarter

Description

This is a guided study of Leonard Peikoff’s “8 Great Plays” course, in which Dr. Peikoff selects eight masterpieces of world literature — eight plays from ancient Greece to the 20th century that are both philosophically rich and esthetically exceptional — and analyzes them as great works of drama and as works that implicitly convey complete philosophies of life.

Dr. Peikoff’s recorded lectures provide historical background and context for each play. He then demonstrates how to identify the play’s essential conflict, its plot and character development and its deeper theme. Drawing on all these aspects, he then discusses the overall philosophy conveyed by the play (if not explicitly, then at least implicitly). The result is a unique exercise in philosophical detection and esthetic evaluation.

In the ARU course, ARU faculty supplement Dr. Peikoff’s lectures with in-depth live discussions and assignments about each of the plays and further explorations of the principles underlying Ayn Rand’s view that art is an indispensable need of human life, an irreplaceable form of spiritual refueling.

Students will leave this course with a better understanding of Ayn Rand’s view of art and of how to reach a full, objective evaluation of an artwork, taking into account philosophical, esthetic and personal (optional) factors — and therefore how to grasp, evaluate and enjoy the objective values a great play offers.

Spoiler alert: Dr. Peikoff’s recorded lectures assume that students have read the play that is discussed. You do not need to listen to Dr. Peikoff’s recorded lectures before beginning the live course, but you may wish to read the plays ahead of time. Recommended editions are listed here.

October 2022 – March 2023

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