Honors | Ideas & Experience I (HON)
H211 | 3570 | Richard Cecil

MW 1:00-2:15pm
HU 108


In this section of H211 we will read ancient to early modern dramas
and epics with a special focus on the roles women play in those
works, as well as a great memoir, the 14th century Confessions of
Lady Nijo, and what many consider to be the first great modern
novel, the 10th century The Tale of Gengi, both written by women.
Beginning with the depiction of women in Gilgamesh, the oldest epic,
as mothers, prostitutes, and barmaids, and ending with Racine’s
French seventeenth century vision of Andromache and her rival
Hermione as sophisticated, witty, tragically powerful figures in
Andromache, we’ll trace the history and development of female
characters in fiction. There will be three 3-5 page critical essays,
and a final, 6-10 page creative paper which will consist of a scene
from the point of view of one of the women who appear in one or more
of the texts--a scene in which her version of the “facts” is
dramatized. Each student’s creative assignment will be distributed
to the class and discussed in the final two weeks of the course.

Course Texts:  Gilgamesh; The Odyssey, tr. Robert Fitzgerald;
Aeschylus, Aeschylus 1, tr. Lattimore; Euripides, Ten Plays by
Euripides, tr. Moses Hadas and John McClean; Seneca, Trojan Women,
tr. Frederick Ahl; Virgil, Aeneid, tr. Fitzgerald, Lady Murasaki,
The Tale of Gengi, tr. Seidensticker; The Confessions of Lady Nijo,
tr. Karen Brazell; Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde, tr. Nevill
Coghill; Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, Racine, Andromache, tr.
Richard Wilbur.