Honors | Ideas & Experience - 1
H211 | 6675 | Richard Cecil


This section is an intensive writing section and requires
registration in COAS W333.

Topic: The Quest

This fall we will study quest literature of the ancient world. We
will begin with Gilgamesh’s quest for a remedy for death in
Gilgamesh, and ending with Pilgrim’s quest for salvation in
Pilgrim’s Progress. In between we will study several fictional
accounts of quests, as well as two historical ones—Xenophon’s
Anabasis, which vividly records his quest for home and survival
after his small band of mercenaries is stranded in the middle of
a huge, hostile Persian army thousands of miles from home, and
Christopher Columbus’s Journal, which records his journey away
from home and toward the New World. The central work of the
course will be Dante’s Divine Comedy, in which the author travels
from the bottom of hell to the highest point in heaven while settling
old scores with his home town enemies.

Written work for the course will consist of daily written discussion
questions, three critical discussions of 3-5 pages, and a final 5-7
page creative paper—an original quest story, written by each student,
photocopied and distributed to all members of the class for
discussion.

Course texts: Gilgamesh, Homer’s The Odyssey, Virgil’s Aenead,
Xenophon’s Anabasis, Dante’s Divine Comedy, parts of Malory’s
Morte d’Arthur, Columbus’s Journal, and Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress.