What I Have Learned from Classical Literature

This semester I have had the privilege of being in a class that studies Homer, Virgil, Sophocles, and Aeschylus…with Dante tacked on at the end.  Classical and Medieval Literature, also known as Clam Lit, has proved one of the most challenging literature courses I’ve ever taken.  Reading Hamlet in one day was nothing compared with trudging through Homer’s death scenes…every. day. of. the. week.  And though I still have far to go, I hope you enjoy just a few things I have learned from studying the great Greek and Roman writers of the past:

1.  Don’t mess with Achilles.  That guy means business.

2.  Never name your child “Agamemnon”–you’re just asking for trouble.

3.  Wimps like Paris should never be allowed in places of power.  –Shiver–  I can’t stand that creep.

4.  Aphrodite should never be allowed to interfere with anyone ever again.

5.  Don’t let Odysseus talk you into exploring a cave, no matter how innocent it looks.  And if he does, the clever use of wordplay should save you…at least, it will save him.  Hopefully, you’re still alive by the time he thinks of the way out.

6.  Follow the Chick-fil-A slogan and eat more chicken, especially if you’re on the Island of Helios and he’s a little testy about who eats his cattle.

7.  For cryin’ out loud, listen to the stinkin’ prophets!  They’re right every time and no one listens.  (Jocasta, Agamemnon, Creon, Kassandra, and I could keep going.)

8.  Don’t fall asleep at the wheel.  Just look at what happened to Odysseus when he took a snooze and unleashed the four winds at once.

9.  Don’t make Poseidon mad because he holds grudges longer than junior highers.

10.  And if all else fails, blame Helen of Troy.  Somehow, it’s always her fault.

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