Beth tries really hard not to sing that excellent Tom Lehrer song as she once again talks about that boy who loved his mother.
- How would you describe Oedipus’s character in this telling?
- Which version of the plot do you prefer? Sophocles or Seneca? Why?
- What does Seneca have to say about fate?
- Do you find the characters in this play to be “stock characters” or are they more well-rounded than that? Why?
- Retell this version of the myth from Jocasta’s point of view.
Heracles makes himself famous in today’s episode.
- Discuss how Hera fits into this story.
- Which is your favorite labor? Why?
- Pick one of the shorter labors and retell it.
- Is Heracles a serial killer? Why or why not?
- Why does Hera stir up trouble amongst the Amazons?
- Retell this chapter from the perspective of Eurystheus.
You get a funeral game! And you get a funeral game! And you get a funeral game!
- Retell this book from the perspective of the women.
- Which funeral game is your favorite? Why?
- What purpose do the consolation prizes serve?
- Discuss the role of fate as we see it in this book.
- Why is Neptune’s price the death of Palinurus?
Passions overwhelm Phaedra in Seneca’s version of her story.
- How old do you think the characters are? Why? How, if at all, might this change how we view Phaedra’s feelings towards Hippolytus?
- Do you think this play was meant to be performed? Why or why not?
- Directing questions: How would you stage this? Vision, dream cast, etc.?
- Who, if anyone, is the best stoic in this play? Why?
- Why do you think Phaedra kills herself on stage?
Perseus has some adventures and more than a few descendants in today’s episode.
- Which of the relationships in this chapter do you find to be the most (or least) problematic? Why?
- Why do you think Amphitryon kills Comaetho?
- Heracles real name is Alcides. Why do you think the Delphic priestess calls him Heracles – “having the glory of Hera”?
- Retell the story of Perseus from the perspective of Andromeda. Or Medusa. Or the other Gorgons.
- Do you think Megara was happy being married to Heracles? Why or why not?
I hope you’re not too attached to Dido.
- Is Dido really in love with Aeneas?
- How good of a counselor is Anna? Also, is Dido in middle school?
- Are Dido and Aeneas married? Why or why not?
- How might this story be different if the gods stayed out of it?
- Can Aeneas make different choices? Or is he bound by Fate to always do as the gods ask?
- Another way of asking the last question: If Aeneas weren’t so pious, would his choices be the same?
- What does this book have to say about free will?
We finally get around to covering Seneca’s Agamemnon in today’s episode.
- I know I’ve asked this before, but how old is Orestes?!?
- What is the purpose of Pylades entering with Stropius?
- Do you think this work was written for performance? Why or why not?
- The usual directing questions: Vision? Setting? Dream cast?
- Compare/contrast Cassandra and Clytemnestra. Or Cassandra and Electra.
Bellerophon doesn’t have a bunch of adventures in today’s episode.
- Retell the story from Stheneboea’s point of view.
- How many trials must a hero survive before a hero no longer is sent to certain death?
- Why do you think the author glosses over all of Bellerophon’s adventures?
- What other stories does this chapter remind you of? What do they have to say about human nature?
- Why do you think Stheneboea turns on Bellerophon?
- Retell this story from Philonoe’s point of view.
This journey sounds vaguely familiar…
- How might this story be different if the Trojans had listened to Cassandra?
- Discuss the role trauma plays in this story.
- How would you go about writing an epic about the Trojan War and its aftermath?
- Compare/contrast Andromache’s story as told by Virgil and as told by Euripides.
- Compare/contrast Polydorus’s story as told by Virgil and as told by Euripides.
- Compare/contrast Book 9 of The Odyssey with this book.