A Comparative Study Of Odysseus In Homer's Odyssey

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Dr. Mascio has taught 14 completely distinct courses with separate preparations in the last 9 semesters, 8 in the last two semesters while carrying a 15 credit load each semester. These courses include disciplines as wide ranging as literature, etymology, history, philosophy, mythology, religion, and film. Courses not taught in the last two semesters include the following: Roots of English, Journey of Transformation, Classical Mythology, Modern Theater, and Film, Advanced Greek: Aristotle, and Special Topics in Greek Literature: Homer. Outside of his home department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures he teaches every Fall Semester in the University Honors Program, has previously taught in the University Core, and regularly teaches courses …show more content…
We will spend three full weeks reading Homer’s Odyssey very closely in order to set up the themes which will be in play throughout the semester. Next we shall encounter alternative formulations of Odysseus’ life in the Epic Cycle and examine how the Lyric poet and philosopher Xenophanes viewed the Homeric hero. By the time of Odysseus’ arrival on the Greek stage in 5th century Athens much has changed in the world of the Greeks and Odysseus has changed with the times. Sophocles portrays two very different Odysseus characters in his Ajax and Philoctetes. These characters are powerful meditations on issues both political and philosophical. Here begins a thread of the villainous Odysseus character woven further by Vergil. In Euripides and Theocritus we shall examine how the chief villain of Homer’s Odyssey, the dreadful monster Polyphemus, is re-imagined, as both a Sophist and a broken-hearted love …show more content…
Joyce’s choice of Odysseus as the basis for his character was the fullness of Homer’s portrait of a character seen in the roles of father, son, husband, and lover. Kazantzakis, a Cretan poet, wrote an epic sequel to Homer’s poem in the middle of the 20th century. In this dizzying poem we shall see Odysseus interact with the Buddha and Jesus, and make his way to Antartica to live on an iceberg. Finally we will read the Canadian author Margaret Atwood’s novel The Penelopiad which gives us Penelope’s view of the events of Homer’s poem within the current of contemporary feminist perspectives. Course Objectives:

The aims of the class are:
1. To gain a thorough understanding of the Odyssey, one of the foundations of Western literature, through close reading and textual analysis;
2. To understand that myths are, by their nature, mutable;
3. To recognize major themes of Homeric poems in later literary, dramatic, and artistic adaptations;
4, To appreciate allusions and intertextuality;
5. To see how different societies, Christian and non-Christian, react to the Odysseus character; and
6. To demonstrate proficiency in close reading, clear analytical writing, and critical

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