The Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia, is regarded as the first great masterpiece of world literature. Over the last two centuries, Gilgamesh has been revealed on 12 stone tablets scattered around the area of ancient Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. King Gilgamesh is an archetype of hero myths through the ages, from Achilles to Roland to Beowulf and on to modern superheroes. This adventure story has themes of friendship, conflict with the gods, dark forests and the search for immortality. We will look at the work of Carl Jung, the father of analytical psychology, and studies in myth and fairy tales as well as the history and geography of the near east. Gilgamesh is a hero of a thousand faces with a thousand roads to follow.
The Epic of Gilgamesh
Group Leader: LEE BEHNKE
Venue: Chilton Club, 152 Comm. Ave
Meets on: Fridays 10:00 am to noon
Class Size: 14
Teaching Style: Seminar
Weekly Preparation: 2 hours
Group Leader Biography:
Lee Behnke has taught classics and English at Buckingham Browne & Nichols, the University of Chicago, and more recently Phillips Exeter Academy. She received a B.A. magna cum laude from Smith College in English, an M. Ed. from Harvard in language acquisition, and an M.A. from Tufts University in classics. She has taught ancient civilization courses for the University of Chicago in Rome, Barcelona, and Athens. She coordinated the great books stream of the humanities requirement and directed the Undergraduate Latin Program. Her special interest is the classical tradition and its reception in later literature.