English 2123:  Odysseys
     Spring 2010


"Character is destiny."  -  Heraclitus

Click here to find out about this ancient artifact. 



Course Information




Major Project














Greek hero Heracles battles the shape-shifting god Achelous. In Book 4 of The Odyssey, Menelaus outwits the shape-shifting god Proteus and finds out how to get home. 

Trips of a Lifetime

Experience the wrath of Achilles and survive this trial by fire.

Ponder with Aristotle the nature of happiness, virtue and work.

Go to hell with Dante and live to tell about it.

Quest with Sir Gawain for the elusive Green Knight.

Be a member of King Henry V's gallant band on St. Crispin's Day.

Rationale for English 2123: Odysseys

Odysseys is "about the greatest theme of all:  the act of learning,          which, though it must be mentored, is interior and individual.  It is not a mere linear movement forward, collecting an aggregate of information and skills.  Nor is it simply an optimistic outlook that ignores real complications and obstacles.   Rather, learning is a genuine making, an act of gathering and forming, by persistence and struggle.  Each act of learning reorganizes reality, each is an authentic creation.  And, as Dorothy Sayers' translation of the Divine Comedy has it, 'the eye by seeing learns to see.'

"As we encounter these fictional characters in their struggles toward
wisdom, we undergo, in the depths of our psyches, in the channels of our minds, the same struggle.  It is acted out, at the control center, one
might say, of one's being.  And by our efforts to bring together and to
understand the conflicts from within that are engendered by images of
conflicts from without, somehow, miraculously, we learn."
                                                                --Louise Cowan, Classic Texts




Plato (left) with Aristotle, who holds his Nicomachean Ethics

Part of Raphael's painting School of Athens



Created by Dorothy McCaughey   01/26/2010
Louisiana State University