LLT 180: The Heroic Quest

LLT 180: The Heroic Quest (Missouri State University). Instructor: Dr. Joseph Hughes. Human societies have long used the theme of the quest for self-knowledge as a vehicle to assess their own cultures and to explore ethical situations arising in civic life. This course examines texts from diverse cultural traditions in which protagonists confront their inherited identity of culture and language, providing a broader perspective on self-discovery in our own society.

The literary pattern of the "The Heroic Quest," in which a protagonist journeys to far-off lands in pursuit of an important goal, is literally the oldest story known to humankind, dating back to the Gilgamesh Epic of 2500 BCE. Beginning from a scarcely literate world with no mass media, stories about the "heroic quest" have instructed individuals and civilizations alike for millennia upon important topics such as cultural awareness, the boundaries of ethical conduct, and the necessity for leading a good life. Stories about the "heroic quest" continue to entertain and inform down to our own times. Through close study of the context and content of several such "heroic quest" stories, selected from a wide range of civilizations and time periods, students will develop an awareness of their own inherited identity of culture and language, and to address the challenge of leading an ethical and civically engaged life. (from

Lecture 05 - Gilgamesh IV + Homer, Odyssey

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Lecture 01 - Welcome
Lecture 02 - Gilgamesh
Lecture 03 - Gilgamesh II
Lecture 04 - Gilgamesh III
Lecture 05 - Gilgamesh IV + Homer, Odyssey
Lecture 06 - Homer, Odyssey II
Lecture 07 - Homer, Odyssey III
Lecture 08 - Aristophanes, Frogs
Lecture 09 - Apuleius, Cupid and Psyche
Lecture 10 - Review for Test One
Lecture 11 - Sophocles, Antigone
Lecture 12 - Sophocles, Antigone II
Lecture 13 - Sophocles, Antigone III
Lecture 14 - Vergil, Aeneid
Lecture 15 - Vergil, Aeneid II
Lecture 16 - Aeneid vs. Odyssey
Lecture 17 - Dante, Inferno
Lecture 18 - Dante, Inferno II
Lecture 19 - Gogol, The Nose
Lecture 20 - Gogol, The Nose II
Lecture 21 - Gogol, The Nose III
Lecture 22 - Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions
Lecture 23 - Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions II