Greek Mythology

Perseus and Medusa, Pandora and her box, Jason and the Golden Fleece, Achilles and the fight for Helen…the gods, monsters, and intrepid heroes of Greek Mythology are the subjects of some of the oldest and best-known stories which have fascinated people through the ages and can be found referenced in great literature all the way up to our current culture, from the works of Geoffrey Chaucer and William Shakespeare to the stories of Rick Riordan and Anne Ursu.

A study of Greek myths serves as an excellent springboard for future literature studies and provide an insight into the mindset and culture of the ancient Greek people and how they approached the foundational questions we have wrestled with through the ages, such as: Where did people come from? What makes a hero? Who made the world? What is the relationship of human to god? What happens when we die? The Ancient Greek answers to these and many other questions about human existence and the world we live in are available to the modern student of Greek Mythology.

In this course, we will read stories of the Ancient Greek gods and heroes adapted for a younger audience. We will compare some of these stories with original Ancient Greek texts and with other versions of the same tales and discuss what these stories reveal about the culture’s worldview, as well as the significance of the morals, lessons, and ideas they were intended to convey.

The Ancient Greeks told stories orally, and thus different people knew different versions of each story. Students will read many different versions of the same story in this class in order to experience the myths as the Ancient Greeks did: with various nuances and details that emphasize a different moral or aspect of the story. Students will also write their own myth in this course and will complete additional research projects to complement the course reading and discussions, which are designed to enhance the students’ critical reading, writing, and thinking skills.