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CLAS238 Fantasies, Phobias and Families in Graeco-Roman Myth

The Remorse of Orestes_by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1862)

Lecturer: Dr Sean McConnell

Oedipus murdered his father and married his mother, whereas Orestes murdered his mother to avenge his father. Graeco-Roman myth is full of dark themes, tragic choices and reprehensible actions. These myths are embedded with the cultural values of their ancient audience, yet the psychological concepts they involve remain just as relevant today.
This paper undertakes a comparative examination of some of the key figures in Graeco-Roman myth through the lens of psychological theory to gain an understanding of these figures and why they still speak to us so powerfully today. The focus is on family relationships, gender dynamics and stereotyping in myth as an expression of societal fears and fantasies.

Internal Assessment

50%

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Details

Examines mythic figures from a psychological perspective and their role as models for positive and negative social relationships.

Graeco-Roman myth is full of sinister themes, tragic choices and reprehensible actions. Oedipus killed his father and married his mother; Atreus fed his own sons to Thyestes; and Romulus slew his brother Remus to found Rome. This paper explores the darker side of Graeco-Roman myth through some of the great literary works written by Virgil, Ovid and Seneca.

Paper title Fantasies, Phobias and Families in Graeco-Roman Myth
Paper code CLAS238
Subject Classical Studies
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $851.85
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,585.00

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Prerequisite
(18 CLAS, GREK or LATN points) or 54 points
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Contact
classics@otago.ac.nz
Teaching staff
Co-ordinator and Lecturer: Dr Sean McConnell
Paper Structure
The paper covers the following mythological topics and figures from a psychological approach:
  • Cosmogonies
  • Foundation myths
  • Paradise
  • Prometheus
  • Oedipus
  • Electra
  • Phaedra
  • Heracles
  • Plato's Myth of Atlantis
  • Thyestes
Teaching Arrangements
24 lectures, 6 tutorials.
Textbooks
Virgil, Aeneid (trans. C. Day Lewis). Oxford World's Classics, 1998

Ovid, Metamorphoses (trans. David Raeburn). Penguin, 2004

Seneca, Six Tragedies (trans. Emily Wilson). Oxford World's Classics, 2010

Course Reader
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Scholarship, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
  • A knowledge and understanding of selected mythic narratives
  • An understanding of gender dynamics as represented in myth
  • An understanding of the construction of gender stereotyping
  • An understanding of family dynamics as represented in myth
  • A knowledge and understanding of the psychological and social function of mythic narratives

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Timetable

Second Semester

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

Lecture

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
L1 Monday 11:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 11:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41

Tutorial

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
T1 Thursday 11:00-11:50 30, 32, 34, 37, 39, 41
T2 Thursday 14:00-14:50 30, 32, 34, 37, 39, 41
T3 Thursday 15:00-15:50 30, 32, 34, 37, 39, 41

Examines mythic figures from a psychological perspective and their role as models for positive and negative social relationships.

Graeco-Roman myth is full of sinister themes, tragic choices and reprehensible actions. Oedipus killed his father and married his mother; Atreus fed his own sons to Thyestes; and Romulus slew his brother Remus to found Rome. This paper explores the darker side of Graeco-Roman myth through some of the great literary works written by Virgil, Ovid and Seneca.

Paper title Fantasies, Phobias and Families in Graeco-Roman Myth
Paper code CLAS238
Subject Classical Studies
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for 2018 have not yet been set
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

^ Top of page

Prerequisite
(18 CLAS, GREK or LATN points) or 54 points
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Contact
classics@otago.ac.nz
Teaching staff
Co-ordinator and Lecturer: Dr Sean McConnell
Paper Structure
The paper covers the following mythological topics and figures from a psychological approach:
  • Cosmogonies
  • Foundation myths
  • Paradise
  • Prometheus
  • Oedipus
  • Electra
  • Phaedra
  • Heracles
  • Plato's Myth of Atlantis
  • Thyestes
Internal Assessment 50%
Teaching Arrangements
24 lectures, 6 tutorials.
Textbooks
Virgil, Aeneid (trans. C. Day Lewis). Oxford World's Classics, 1998

Ovid, Metamorphoses (trans. David Raeburn). Penguin, 2004

Seneca, Six Tragedies (trans. Emily Wilson). Oxford World's Classics, 2010

Course Reader
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Scholarship, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
  • A knowledge and understanding of selected mythic narratives
  • An understanding of gender dynamics as represented in myth
  • An understanding of the construction of gender stereotyping
  • An understanding of family dynamics as represented in myth
  • A knowledge and understanding of the psychological and social function of mythic narratives

^ Top of page

Timetable

Second Semester

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

Lecture

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
L1 Monday 11:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 11:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41

Tutorial

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
T1 Thursday 11:00-11:50 30, 32, 34, 37, 39, 41
T2 Thursday 14:00-14:50 30, 32, 34, 37, 39, 41
T3 Thursday 15:00-15:50 30, 32, 34, 37, 39, 41