This essay will discuss an example of a modern reception of a classical (Greek or Roman) myth. I define “modern” very loosely—anything from the Middle Ages through the year 2020. Your example could come from a piece of art, a book, TV series, play, meme, architectural element, TV ad, video game, brand name, or something else entirely. It is up to you to choose the example (anything aside from examples I have discussed at length in class), but choose carefully. Some examples will lend themselves to an insightful 2 to 3 page essay more than others. Your example can be connected with any Greek or Roman myth even if we haven’t discussed it yet in the course, though it may be easier for you to find ancient texts for myths we have already discussed.
Some things to think about as you develop your topic:
Think about what version of the myth is being adapted and what ancient texts we have read (or will read) that treat that myth. Does the modern creator of this mythical adaptation seem to have an agenda? If so, does it differ from that of the ancient authors who treated that myth? What are the contexts of this adaptation (historical, literary, cultural, religious, etc.)? Does the creator seem to have an audience(s) in mind?
Your essay must be 2 to 3 pages, double-spaced, in 12-point font, and with reasonable margins. You will submit your essay via Canvas as an uploaded Word doc or PDF. I can’t accept any file types other than PDF or Word doc.
Your essay must have a title that offers the reader a sense of what you will be discussing specifically (i.e. more than just the assignment title of “Modern Reception of a Classical Myth Essay”). Include citations to and engage directly with the ancient texts. I would like to see you citing the ancient texts at least once, and ideally more than once, on every page of your essay. You may cite by page number(s) of the translation or by section or line number(s), if you’re familiar with the latter citation method. If you have questions about citation methods, email me. If you use a translation other than one I assigned, include it in a Works Cited page so I know what translation you used. If you use only translations I assigned, there is no need to add a Works Cited page. Works Cited pages do not count as part of the 2-3 pages double-spaced, nor do images (if you choose to add them).
The texts we read for this class are as follows (some of these must be used in the paper as sources):
Hesiod’s Theogony and Works and Days. Translated by M. L. West. Oxford.
Homer’s Odyssey. Translated by R. Fagles. Penguin.
The Homeric Hymns. Translated by J. Cashford. Penguin.
Virgil’s Aeneid. Translated by R. Fitzgerald. Vintage Classics.
The Greek Plays: Sixteen Plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. Translated by M. Lefkowitz and J.
Romm. Modern Library.
Apollonius of Rhodes’ Jason and the Argonauts. Translated by A. Poochigian. Penguin.
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