Are gods different from humans? What makes a person a hero? Is patriarchy natural or cultural? Does the state take priority over the home? Are certain types of love natural or unnatural? How can different communities interact with one another? What happens after we die? In asking these universal questions, the myths of the ancient Greeks have provided a space throughout history to reinterpret and retell, question and negotiate, censor or celebrate our positions on these issues. The difficult and often discomfiting questions about human and divine nature posed by these stories have the ability to provoke both horror and fascination over issues of power, justice, personal identity, and mortality. But what is their role and function—both in the ancient world and today? In this class, students will explore how understanding myth is part of how we see the world and how we see ourselves in it. Students will explore and interrogate stories of the origins of the universe, Persephone, Orpheus, Heracles, the Trojan War, the Amazons, Theseus, Oedipus, Medea, and more in order to understand the diverse ways in which myths have been told and interpreted. Through these investigations, students will gain an understanding of ancient Greek myths as they were told in their cultural and historical contexts and consider how they have impacted and been reconsidered by subsequent generations up to and including our own.



Enrollment Limit

Enrollment limited to 38 students.