Module Catalogue 2020/21

CAC3054 : Epic Journeys: The Odyssey and Homeric Epic (stage 3) (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Susanna Phillippo
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment

N/A

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment

N/A

Aims

The Odyssey: marvellous voyage with a fairy-tale ending, or grim battle for survival in a world of shifting rules? The Homeric epics derive from a long oral tradition, and while they stand at the very beginning of western literature, they are complex and multi-faceted works which have been interpreted in many different ways. This module will examine the Odyssey in the context of the early Greek epic tradition surrounding the Trojan War legend, and, more specifically, will explore its relationship with the other great Homeric epic, the Iliad, studying the parallels and contrasts between portrayals of heroes and heroism, narrative technique, characterization and emotion, and thematic design.

The module aims to train students to use details of a text for analysis and appreciation of:
•Stylistic and narrative design and effects
•Thematic patterns
•The handling of emotional impact
•The handling of character portrayal and of audience sympathies

The module aims to teach students to:
•Identify characteristic features of Homeric narrative technique, including those which reflect the Odyssey’s and the Iliad’s status as works designed for oral performance.
•Explore how these may work for an audience in a performance context, especially in terms of emotional and dramatic effect.
•To develop students’ capacity for independent exploration and analysis of a literary text.

Outline Of Syllabus

The syllabus covers the following topics concerning Homeric epic, as these are manifested in the Odyssey, with comparison to the way similar elements and approaches are manifested in the Iliad at selected points:
Questions of design
Narrative technique:
•plot and thematic patterns
•narrative patterns
•description and narrative
•building themes
•handling narrative climaxes
•presentation of character
The heroic world
Immortals and mortality

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

On completion of this module students should have:
-developed an understanding and appreciation of narrative techniques as employed in Homeric epic poetry
-developed an understanding of the way such techniques work in oral performance
explored the diverse ways and varying directions in which a poet may direct an audience’s reaction to characters and events in a narrative, and the possible role in this process of cultural ideas, values and ethics different to their own.

Intended Skill Outcomes

On completion of this module students should have:
-further developed their skills in critical analysis and appreciation of textual detail;
-further developed skills in relating analysis of such detail to larger thematic, narrative and aesthetic questions about a text as a whole;
-further developed their ability to apply these skills to comparisonbetween related texts;
-further developed their communication skills, particularly through class discussion and seminars;
-developed skills of initiative in undertaking a short ‘independent study’ assignment requiring them to apply analytical skills from a comparative angle.

Teaching Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Timetable

Past Exam Papers

General Notes

The Odyssey: marvellous voyage with a fairy-tale ending, or grim battle for survival in a world of shifting rules? The Homeric epics derive from a long oral tradition, and while they stand at the very beginning of western literature, they are complex and multi-faceted works which have been interpreted in many different ways: the Odyssey has been seen as a women’s novel and a proto road-movie among other things! Secrets and lies, quests and questions, enigmas and marvels: this course aims to examine the range of elements, moods and effects that go to make up what has been termed the world’s first great adventure story. We shall also explore the relationship between the Odyssey and the other great Homeric epic, the Iliad, studying the parallels and contrasts between portrayals of heroes and heroism, narrative technique, characterization and emotion, and thematic design.

Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2020/21 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2021/22 entry will be published here in early-April 2021. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.