We will read together in ancient Greek substantial parts of Aeschylus’ Agamemnon, the first of the plays of his powerful and memorable Oresteia. We will pay close attention to the play’s language and its impact. We will read and discuss the remainder of the Oresteia and select passages of relevant ancient Greek literature (especially the Odyssey) in English translation, as well as a few interpretations of the Oresteia produced by modern scholars. Key topics of discussion will include gender, violence, vengeance, justice, sacrifice, genre, political form, homecoming, causation, allusion, and dramaturgy. There will be two midterms, two modest papers, and a final.
The prerequisite for this advanced course is successful completion of Greek 100 and Greek 101 or 102. Experience reading Greek drama in Greek (in Greek 102 or elsewhere) is recommended.