The Epic Tradition
9 units (3-0-6)
first, second terms
For over 2,000 years epic poetry was the foremost genre of literature. The most prestigious kind of poetry was also unusually competitive and self-referential. Virgil imitates and revises Homer, Ovid mocks and criticizes Virgil's political agenda, and Milton transforms the entire epic tradition. We will focus on the differing conceptions of heroism in Homer's Iliad and/or Odyssey, Virgil's Aeneid, Ovid's Metamorphoses, and Milton's Paradise Lost.
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