Francis Dunn

Greek tragedy
HSSB 4050
Curriculum Vitae:


Francis Dunn, Professor of Classics, earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Classics at Yale University (B.A. 1976, Ph.D 1985). His research centers upon Greek literature of the fifth century BCE, with special interests in Greek tragedy, concepts of time, and narrative theory, and has been supported by awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies. He is the author of three books, Tragedy’s End: Closure and Innovation in Euripidean Drama, which explores connections between closural devices and Euripidean experiments with the limits of tragedy, Present Shock in Late Fifth-century Greece, which traces a shift from the authority of the past to present uncertainties, ranging from civic calendars to drama and from philosophy to medical theory, and a major Commentary on Sophocles’ Electra. He has also edited three books, Beginnings in Classical Literature, with Thomas Cole, Classical Closure: Reading the End in Greek and Latin Literature, with Deborah Roberts and Don Fowler, and Sophocles’ Electra in Performance.



  • A Commentary on Sophocles’ Electra. Fondazione Lorenzo Valla, 2019.
  • Present Shock in Late Fifth-Century Greece. University of Michigan Press, 2007
  • Tragedy’s End: Closure and Innovation in Euripidean Drama, Oxford University Press, 1996.

Edited Books

  • Beginnings in Classical Literature, edited with Thomas Cole. (Yale Classical Studies 29) Cambridge University Press, 1992.
  • Sophocles’ Electra in Performance (DRAMA 4). M&P Verlag, Stuttgart, 1996.
  • Classical Closure: Reading the End in Greek and Latin Literature, edited with Deborah Roberts and Don Fowler. Princeton University Press, 1997

Recent Articles

  • “Affective Suspense in Euripides’ Electra,” Greek Drama V, Bloomsbury, 2020.
  • “Narrative Bonds in Sophocles’ Philoctetes,” Mouseion 2020.
  • “Affective Attachments in some Late Tragedies,” in Brill’s Companion to Euripides, Leiden, 2020.
  • “The Fifth Century and After: (Dis)continuities in Greek tragedy,” Greek Tragedy after the fifth century, Cambridge, 2018.
  • “The Mutilation of Agamemnon (A. Ch. 439 and S. El. 445).” Mnemosyne, 2018.
  • “Euripides and his Intellectual Context,” in A Companion to Euripides, Wiley, 2017.
  • The Prosopon Fallacy or, Apollo in Sophocles’ Electra,” Theatre World, Berlin, 2017.
  • “Ethical Attachments and the End of Sophocles’ Oedipus the King.” Pages 17-28 in The Door Ajar: False Closure in Greek and Roman Literature and Art. Heidelberg, 2013.
  • Electra.” Pages 98-110 in A Companion to Sophocles, ed. K. Ormand. Chichester, 2012.
  • “Dynamic Allusion in Sophocles.” Pages 263-79 in Brill’s Companion to Sophocles, ed. A. Markantonatos. Leiden, 2012.
  • “Metatheatre and Metaphysics in two late Greek Tragedies.” Pages 5-18 in Text and Presentation, 2010.
  • “Where is Electra in Sophocles’ Electra,” in The Play of Text and Fragments: Essays in Honour of Martin Cropp, ed. J. R. C. Cousland. Leiden, 2009.
  • “Sophocles and the Narratology of Drama,” in Narratology and Interpretation, ed. A. Rengakos and J. Grethlein. Leiden, 2009.
  • “Trope and Setting in Electra.” Pages 183-200 in Sophocles and the Greek Language, ed. I.J.F. de Jong and A. Riksbaron. Leiden, 2006.