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Monsters, Gods, and Heroes by Timothy B. Shutt

Monsters, Gods, and Heroes

Approaching the Epic in Literature

by Timothy B. Shutt

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Audio Original
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8 Hrs.
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From the very outset in the West—from the time of Homer himself in about 750 BCE—the epic has been the most highly regarded of literary genres. It is rivaled only by tragedy, which arose a bit more than two centuries later, as the most respected, the most influential, and, from a slightly different vantage point, the most prestigious mode of addressing the human condition in literary terms. The major epics are the big boys, the works that, from the very outset, everyone had heard of and everyone knew, at least by reputation. They are the works that had the most profound and most enduring cultural influence. And they are very much with us still, some more than others, but all—or all the most successful ones—are more or less firmly enshrined in cultural memory. They are still read. They are still taught. They still gain imitators and admirers. The stories they tell still shape our imagination and aspirations.

Timothy B. Shutt is a graduate of Yale, and earned his Ph.D. at the University of Virginia, where he specialized in medieval literature and the history of ideas. Shutt, who is also teaches the Portable Professor course Foundations of Western Thought: Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans, joined Kenyon College in 1986. He has since been lecturing to packed houses and is honored frequently for his teaching skills.

Lecture 1 The Epic

Lecture 2 Homer and the Iliad

Lecture 3 Homer and the Iliad (continued)

Lecture 4 Homer and the Odyssey

Lecture 5 & Lecture 6 The Aeneid

Lecture 7 Beowulf

Lecture 8 Dante and The Divine Comedy

Lecture 9 The Divine Comedy: Inferno

Lecture 10 The Divine Comedy: Purgatorio

Lecture 11 The Divine Comedy: Paradiso

Lecture 12 The Renaissance Epic and The Faerie Queene: Book I

Lecture 13 Paradise Lost

Lecture 14 Paradise Lost and Later

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