Myth in Poetry
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Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students
Course Number: NLIT 3106
Course Format: Lecture
Permission Required: No
The beautifully told, compelling myths of the classical world still enthrall us today. What is it about these mysterious and beautiful tales that has captured the poetic imagination for centuries? We gain a new appreciation for four of the most familiar Greco-Roman myths—Demeter and Persephone, Cupid and Psyche, Daedalus and Icarus, and Orpheus and Eurydice—by examining the oldest-known literary sources (the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, Apuleius, and Ovid) and modern interpretations by well-known scholars like Edith Hamilton and Joseph Campbell. These short readings are followed by close readings of modern poetic retellings of each tale, which we compare with the original sources. We also discuss film versions of the myths (which students view outside class), including Cocteau’s La Belle et la bête (Beauty and the Beast), a modern interpretation of Cupid and Psyche; and Camus’ Orfeu Negro (Black Orpheus).
Course Open to: Degree Students