World Myths: Living Tales Of The Past
Why do the same myths appear across the world? What importance did mythology have for people in the past? Are these ancient tales still relevant today? This course takes a thematic tour across the globe, seeking out the myths that still have crucial lessons for us. Together, we will consider the birth of human creativity, the conflict between nature and culture, the themes of the Quest and Metamorphosis, ecological catastrophe, war, and apocalypse. The course reveals myth as a valuable resource and a unique way of understanding the world.
Who is this course for
No previous knowledge required, and no essential skills required beyond reading English.
What does this course cover
We will explore a variety of myths from different international traditions, and consider the questions 'what is a myth?', and 'can mythic and rational ideas coexist?' Among the myths we shall discuss are the ancient Greek tales of the Trojan War, Odysseus' return home, the tragedy of Antigone, and the exploits of Dionysus, wild god of wine. The Greek myths will be balanced by equally fascinating stories from other cultures - Hindu creation myth, the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, the Welsh tales known as the Mabinogion, and the Norse vision of Ragnark. Students will also be encouraged to propose favourite myths of their own to study and share with the group.
Students can expect, upon completion of the course, to understand the key arguments in some of the most famous or important world myths, and to recognize major mythical themes in modern and contemporary literature.
What will it be like
Teaching methods include tutor presentations, use of handouts and PowerPoint presentations, reading aloud, group work, class discussion, and student presentations. Students will be assessed by individual learning plans and class participation. There will also be an opportunity for class presentations, and deciding texts for the final two sessions.
What else do you need to buy or do
Students will need a pad and pen for note-taking. Extracts from the essential texts will be supplied (as handout, or via email or Moodle).
Students will be expected to read the supplied extracts outside of class. They will also be encouraged to read as widely as they wish, using their local libraries or following a supplied list of recommended texts.
What this course could lead to
Further courses in literature, history of ideas, classical civilization, or philosophy.
I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.MWC student
This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria
Got a Question about this Course?
Contact The Departmental Administrator.
Why come to Mary Ward Centre?
Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.
Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’