Tuesday, March 24, 2009

March 23 Class Notes

Metampsychosis: is reincarnation, most especially of the soul into another form, including plants animals, as well as rocks.

Classical Literature

  • Greek and Roman literature

  • In another class one would read something from Homer (Illiad etc.) but we read Homeric Hymns

  • for the greeks one would read:

  • something from the 3 tragedians (Antigone)

  • something Phylisophical plato or aristotle (the symposium)

  • something from ancient comedy usually Aristophanies or Plautud (Lysistrata)

  • for the romans (which is derived from the greeks)

  • Virgils Aneun

  • instead we ready Ovid's Metamorphasis

Our class may seem scattered, just as Ovid's tales seem to be, however Ovid's are all connected by the common theme of change


  • Antigone:

  • Formal Tragedy: text that follows certain principles

  • Catharsis: a part of formal tragedy, it is a purging of the feelings of pity and terror

  • why are we attracted to things that repell us

  • if you are depressed after reading one of these tales there is either something wrong with you or the author, because one should be able to leave the feelings behind because we have purged them from our being.

  • the writer represents these so we do not have to, it cleanses us, by witnessing violence

Man Reading:

  • read at the beginning of the year, may have seemed irrelevant, now it makes sense

  • the obituary, of the man who was preceded in death by his 5 yr. daughter, now reminds us of Hecuba burying her grandson, we now understand her speach as well


  • the plane crash in butte, helps to show the tragedy of the loss of a young life.

  • all is suffering all is fleeting

  • Andromica in the Trojan Woman, was the woman who lost a child, coincidentally she was played by the mother of Natashia Richardson, who died this past week.

  • Coincidence is alwasy 1 in 3

  • There was a suicide in California, a professor of Ocean Studies, who was the son of Sylvia Plath who committed suicide, and was a famous poet, who was married to Ted Hughes, who translated the book we are reading......he lost a son

  • Someone must exorcise all these tragedies for us, so they do not happen to us, who will write them down?

  • if you do not write about something it will never leave you alone.

If you believe that you can do something better than the gods and succeed you will be punished.

Marsius played the flute better than appollo who hung him up

Ovid wrote his book in the year 8, he was a contemporary of jesus christ. the writing of this book marked the end of an era, the end of classical literataure and mythology.


  • one min. presentations on wednesday, on piece you had to read.
  • read an imaginary life:
  • write one page and post on blog on what does the book have to do with the class due next monday.

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