1st degree (Bachelor)
school of ancient & modern literatures
Dr. Gur Zak
Coordinator Office Hours:
Dr. Gur Zak
The aim of the course is to offer a survey of a variety of literary masterpieces from Ancient Greece up to later Middle Ages. In each class we shall focus on one literary masterpiece, analyse its content and form, and consider the possible reasons for its inclusion in the "canon". Among the themes we shall focus on in our analysis are: identity and gender, love and death, cruelty and compassion, and the reflection offered by the works themselves on the value of reading and writing literature.
- To expose first year students of literary programs and corner stone program to representative works of world literature
- To provide students with basic tools for a deep and informed analysis of literary works.
- To lead students to reflect critically on the role of literature in society and on the value of studying literature.
Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
To discuss in an intelligent and informed manner central literary masterpieces that shaped the world.
To understand the general line of development of world literature from antiquity to the early modern age.
To offer analysis of literary works based on the main themes that dominate them, their relationship to the historical contexts in which they were shaped, and their dialogue with the literary tradition from which they developed.
Teaching arrangement and method of instruction:
1. Rage and Pity: Homer's Iliad
2. The Return of Odysseus: Homer's Odyssey and Genesis
3. The Ancient Tragedy: Medea
4. Lyric Poetry between East and West
5. A hero's Destiny: Virgil's Aeneid
6. Metaphor and Metamorphosis: Ovid's Metamorphoses
7. Literature and Christianity: From the Gospels to Augustine
8. Drama, Memory, and Aesthetics in Ancient India: Kalidasa
9. Medieval Romance: Tristan
10. Autobiography and Castration in the Middle Ages: The Letters of Abelard and Heloise.
11. To Hell and Back: Dante's Divine Comedy
12. The Human Comedy 1: Boccaccio's Decameron
13. The Human Comedy 2: Chaucer's Canterbury Tales
14. Literature against Death: Thousand and One Nights
1. Homer, Iliad, Books 18,24
2. Homer, Odyssey, Books 8,11,19
Genesis, ch. 22
3. Euripides, Medea
4. Sappho, Poems, Selections
Catullus, Poems, Selections
5. Virgil, Aeneid, Books 4, 6
6. Ovid, Metamorphoses, Selections
7. The Gospel According to Matthew
Augustine, Confessions, Book 8
8. Kalidasa, The Recognition of Sakuntala
9. Tristan and Iseult
10. Abelard and Heloise, Letters 1,2
11. Dante, Inferno, Poems 1,2,4,5,26
12. Boccaccio, Decameron, Day 1 Introduction, 1.1, 2.5, 3.10, 10.10
13. Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, General Prologue, The Miller's Tale, Tale of the Wife of Bath, The Clerk's Tale
14. Thousand and One Nights, Selections
Additional Reading Material:
End of year written/oral examination 100 %
Presentation 0 %
Participation in Tutorials 0 %
Project work 0 %
Assignments 0 %
Reports 0 %
Research project 0 %
Quizzes 0 %
Other 0 %