The primary objective, then, is reading this epic poem and understanding its narrative element. This objective would be the same for all levels of students.And, although this unit relates to the teaching of this poem to upper level classes, one may note the Globe translations of the classics for students reading below grade level.
The secondary objective, ‘total immersion’ in the spirit of the age, is no less important and gives the student a deeper appreciation. What I hope to achieve is a balance and compatibility between the actual reading of the poem and activities which enhance and reinforce its meaning. In their subsequent high school years most college bound ninth graders will be asked to read outstanding literature. So much of this literature includes references to classical mythology because authors of this literature learned Latin and Greek or read popular translations of myths. For example, easy, cross-references may be made by the teacher of English between some of Shakespeare’s plays and mythology. Ninth graders who read Romeo and Juliet may be referred to Ovid’s Pyramus and This be. Upper class-men who read
will note the common story pattern shared by it and
Oedipus at Colonus.
And the class which reads
may draw ironic parallels between it and