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This Author: Leonard Peikoff
This Publisher: Ayn Rand Institute

Eight Great Plays by Leonard Peikoff

Eight Great Plays

by Leonard Peikoff


Title Details

Running Time
17 Hrs.


Ayn Rand held that art is an indispensable need of human life, an irreplaceable form of spiritual refueling. In this course, Leonard 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.

For each play, Peikoff provides historical background and context. 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.

After completing this course, you will understand better 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: Each lecture assumes that students have read the play that will be discussed in that lecture.

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