Course: The Suppressed Voice Gets a Voice

HC 221H

Professor: Henry Alley

The texts are The Odyssey, Sophocles I, The Aeneid, Hildegard's "The Order of the Virtues.” Dante's Divine Comedy, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and Milton’s Paradise Lost. Through these, we will study changing models of heroes, such as Odysseus, Penelope, Oedipus, Antigone, Aeneas, Hildegard's Soul, Dante the Wanderer, Hamlet, and Milton’s Adam and Eve. We will give attention to reading the poetic or prose texts closely, to some of the larger controversies raised by these great works, as well as to the continuing conflict between political and private commitments--as dramatized by the epics, plays, dialogues and stories. We will also look at some current literary criticism, particularly with regard to the theme of male/female roles, and the way the traditionally suppressed voice of marginalized people becomes recognized. The major emphasis of the class will be on discussion. There will be three short papers, several non-graded quizzes and a reading journal (a chance to explore your responses to the literature in a more informal context). We will have at least two in-class debates, one on the ending of The Aeneid, another on Milton’s God and Satan and the competition for the reader’s sympathy.