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The true “hero” of this ancient Greek literature course is the logos, or word, of logical reasoning, as activated by Socratic dialogue. The logos of dialogue requires careful thinking, realized in close reading and reflective writing. The last “word” read in the course comes from Plato’s memories of the last days of Socrates. These memories depend on a thorough understanding of concepts of the hero in all their varieties throughout the history of Greek civilization and beyond. This course is driven by a sequence of dialogues that lead to such an understanding, guiding the attentive reader through some of the major works of the ancient Greek classics, from Homer to Plato.
Tragedy has been around for over 2500 years, from its earliest manifestations in the huge open-air gathering-places of Athens and other Greek city-states, to the theatres of Renaissance England, Spain and France, right through to the twentieth century with its cinematic tragedies, and the disturbing works of Harold Pinter and Samuel Beckett. In four dialogues, Oliver Taplin, Emeritus Professor, and Joshua Billings, a graduate student in the Oxford Classics Faculty, ask and discuss what tragedy is, what tragedy does for people, whether tragedy teaches, and if tragedy is still alive today.
In four short dialogues, Oliver Taplin, Emeritus Professor in the Oxford University Classics Department and Lorna Hardwick, Professor of Classical Studies and Director of the Classical Receptions in Late Twentieth Century Drama and Poetry in English project, discuss the issues surrounding the translation of Ancient Greek and Roman texts for modern audiences. Looking into the technical, philosophical and literary aspects of this, they centre their discussions around four topics: Is there a core to translation? Is there ever a faithful translation? Can Poetry be Translated? And who translates and for whom?