Dante’s Inferno: Understanding Hell

Dante’s three-part epic poem the Divine Comedy, or Commedia, is one of the most influential and dense works of poetic literature in the Western tradition.  Building off Homer and Virgil, and influencing the likes of Chaucer, Milton, Blake, and Tennyson, as well as bringing to popular consciousness and form the modern Italian language, Dante’s epic delves into … Continue reading Dante’s Inferno: Understanding Hell

Literary Tales Ep. 7: Gulliver’s Travels and the Art of Philosophical Satire

In this episode of Literary Tales we examine Jonathan Swift's incredible mock and satirical travel work, Gulliver's Travels. In this lecture we explore the work as principally a philosophical satire through Gulliver's journeys leading to his insanity and dehumanization. Ruminations on philosophy, theology, and John Milton are included. This lecture is based off my essay, … Continue reading Literary Tales Ep. 7: Gulliver’s Travels and the Art of Philosophical Satire

Literary Tales Ep. 3: Greek Theogony and Theodicy

In this episode of Literary Tales, we examine the dialectical development of Greek theogony and theodicy from Hesiod and Homer down through Pseudo-Apollodorus with concluding remarks on this tradition's supersession by Virgil. In starting from Hesiod's Theogony and exploring the role of the gods, their birth and divine decrees, through Homer and the Bibliotheca, I … Continue reading Literary Tales Ep. 3: Greek Theogony and Theodicy

Virgil’s Use of Consciousness, Memory, and History in “The Aeneid”

The grandest image of Virgil’s Aeneid is the shield forged by the god Vulcan in the eighth book of Aeneas’ adventure to “Lavinian shores and Italian soil.” Virgil pays homage to Homer, his master and mentor, who also describes a grand image on a shield forged by the gods for Achilles. But where Achilles’ shield … Continue reading Virgil’s Use of Consciousness, Memory, and History in “The Aeneid”

Homer’s “Iliad”: From Strife to Love

Homer’s Iliad is the defining epic of Western literature. Its heroes live on in lure and our collective and individual consciousness. Most of Greek—and Roman literature—is indebted to the epic and its characters. Even modern English literature owes much to Homer’s monumental and heroic poem. Indeed, all Western literature owes to the wellspring of Homer. Even literary … Continue reading Homer’s “Iliad”: From Strife to Love