Classical Mythology

We will read and discuss a variety of literary works pertaining to Greek and Roman mythology, from Homer's epic about combat and the allure of violence, The Iliad, to Sophocles's tragedy of extreme physical and psychological trauma, Oedipus Rex, to Ovid's exquisite etiological poem, The Metamorphoses. (For a complete list of the texts, see the Course Description and Requirements.) We will also watch a film that draws on the archetypal narrative patterns and themes of classical myth. All discussions will include reference to a variety of material in addition to the readings and film, ranging from ancient art (viewed through digital slides) to modern works of art and literature. The latter should help place our classical readings in their cultural context, and highlight some of the similarities as well as significant differences between ancient Greek and Roman cultures and our own. We will also take account of different approaches to interpreting literature, many of which apply very well to written works and film of today.