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The Literature of Crisis

The Literature of Crisis

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The Literature of Crisis Course Introduction

Most human lives contain major turning points: crises that transform an individual’s future development. On a much larger scale, cultures undergo crises too: political, intellectual, and religious changes that alter forever the course of human history.

30 Mar 2007

Rank #1

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Plato, The Apology, Crito

Introduction to early Greek philosophy and education. The sophists. The career of Socrates. The Peloponnesian War. Socrates' trial and defense speech. Socrates' imprisonment. What do you owe to the laws of your country? Socrates' view of death.

30 Mar 2007

Rank #2

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Sophocles, Oedipus the King

Introduction to Periclean Athens. The function of theater in Athenian society. Oedipus the King and the Peloponnesian War. Guilt and innocence, fate and free choice. Aristotle's "fatal flaw."

30 Mar 2007

Rank #3

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Shakespeare, Hamlet

The intellectual crisis of the sixteenth century -- the three revolutions. The problem of Hamlet. The theological and moral solutions. The Oedipal interpretation of Hamlet. The aesthetic solution and an alternative.

30 Mar 2007

Rank #4

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Sophocles, Oedipus the King Day III

Introduction to Periclean Athens. The function of theater in Athenian society. Oedipus the King and the Peloponnesian War. Guilt and innocence, fate and free choice. Aristotle's "fatal flaw."

30 Mar 2007

Rank #5

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Shakespeare, Hamlet Day II

The intellectual crisis of the sixteenth century -- the three revolutions. The problem of Hamlet. The theological and moral solutions. The Oedipal interpretation of Hamlet. The aesthetic solution and an alternative.

30 Mar 2007

Rank #6

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Vergil, Aeneid

The impact of Roman imperialism, Greek epic, and Stoic philosophy on Vergil's poem. The limits and costs of power as the Aeneid presents them. The interactions between fate and free choice in Aeneas's experience. Optimism and pessimism in the Aeneid.

30 Mar 2007

Rank #7

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Plato, The Apology, Crito Day II

Introduction to early Greek philosophy and education. The sophists. The career of Socrates. The Peloponnesian War. Socrates' trial and defense speech. Socrates' imprisonment. What do you owe to the laws of your country? Socrates' view of death.

30 Mar 2007

Rank #8

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Vergil, Aeneid Day II

The impact of Roman imperialism, Greek epic, and Stoic philosophy on Vergil's poem. The limits and costs of power as the Aeneid presents them. The interactions between fate and free choice in Aeneas's experience. Optimism and pessimism in the Aeneid.

30 Mar 2007

Rank #9

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Vergil, Aeneid Day IV

The impact of Roman imperialism, Greek epic, and Stoic philosophy on Vergil's poem. The limits and costs of power as the Aeneid presents them. The interactions between fate and free choice in Aeneas's experience. Optimism and pessimism in the Aeneid.

30 Mar 2007

Rank #10