Greek Tragedy, Anthropology and Psychoanalysis

Module Leader:
Luis Murillo
2018-2019 Summer
Immersion 1
Arts and Humanities

In this course we will read what many experts believe to be one of the finest achievements of Greek Literature: The Oresteia by Aeschylus. Besides its own extraordinary literary merits and impact on subsequent Western literature, this Trilogy serves as a powerful anthropological document, revealing much about the evolution of values and emergence of law in Greek society. We will seek a scholarly understanding of this works’ historical context, as we endeavor to understand the social origins of Greek drama. For this we will consult sober classical studies (Aristotle, Schadewalt, Cornford, Dover, Nussbaum, Thomson) of the most arduous variety. We will, however, also join the tumultuous fray of controversial speculations, such as the ones Willamowitz disparagingly labelled Zukunftsphilologie, when he criticised the work of Nietzche, and in that speculative spirit of unorthodox, fertile theorising we will also read selected excerpts of Foucault and Freud, and assess what light they can shed on this essential work.

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