11 & 12 June, 10.30am – 4.30pm, Gosling Room. Fee: £80
This course is open to everyone, and no previous experience is required.
Sometimes called ‘the first novel’, the Odyssey is a marvellous mixture of adventure, suspense, romance, and psychological insight. Homer tells of a world of heroes who, two and a half thousand years later, are recognisable in us today. A mighty poet, he has attracted hundreds of translators who open the doors of this marvellous world to those who have no Greek. We shall be using the fine 1960 translation by Robert Fagles, which is both poetic and accessible.
We cannot cover the whole epic in two days! Members of the class will join in reading aloud passages selected to build up a framework for later individual reading. The main emphasis will be on Homer’s astonishing words, with mythological and historical background explained together with printed handouts. Everyone is encouraged to contribute to discussion, and parallels will be introduced from literature, art and contemporary thought. This is a journey full of wonders.
Students will need to have their own copies of Fagles’ translation, as published by Penguin Books. This is essential so that line and page numbers synchronise as we read aloud. It is available from bookshops and on line. A list of further reading will also be provided.
Tutor Isabel Raphael has a Cambridge MA in Classics and English, and has been teaching Latin, Greek and Ancient History for some 40 years. For the last 18 years she
has run a popular class called Latin for Pleasure at the HLSI, and more recently Latin and Greek adult classes in Hammersmith also. She is an experienced lecturer on a variety of Classics-based topics.
Shakespeare’s Unruly Women
27 & 28 June, 10.30am -4.30pm. Gosling Room. Fee: £80
This course will look at Shakespeare’s female characters across a range of plays including As You Like It (Rosalind), Hamlet (Gertrude and Ophelia), Macbeth (Lady Macbeth and the witches), and Antony and Cleopatra (Cleopatra). Considering the plays in both their historical context and in performance, we will explore representations of love, marriage, widowhood, madness and female power.
The course will be taught through group discussion of set extracts, supported by Power Point presentations and short videos of key scenes in performance. Set extracts from the plays for discussion will be emailed to participants in advance. It would be helpful if you could watch and/or read the following plays before the course: As You Like It, Hamlet, Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra.
Tutor Dr Sophie Oxenham is an Associate Lecturer for the Open University, and has extensive experience of teaching literature across all periods and genres, including Shakespeare. Before working at the OU she was lecturer and course director of the MA in Performing Arts at Leeds University, and taught literature at King’s College, University of London. She has also worked as a theatre and opera director.