Thursday, February 16, 2017

Leontes, Horatius, and Ecclesiastes

Today at our co-op I taught Shakespeare, as usual, and then taught my first class of Plutarch.  When co-op was over I came home and had a cup of tea and some eggs.  You know, to stop my brain from hurting.

I loved it, though.  All the unintentional connections!  My high schoolers and I talked about King Leontes and what triggered his murderous rage (jealousy).  We talked about what made Horatius take over dedication of the temple of Jupiter, which was supposed to be done by Publicola (envy). We talked about the temple--which was built, and destroyed, and re-built, and re-destroyed, and re-re-built, and re-re-destroyed.  I told the class it reminds me of the author of Ecclesiastes, saying all toil is meaningless. Which then leads us, of course, to the questions:

what really matters? what should we build, if not temples that can be destroyed? or is building destructible temples a worthy investment of time and money and energy?
if it's not, what IS a worthy investment of time and money and energy?
what should we worship? what do we worship in our culture?  
do you ever experience the "flip of a switch" from rational being into a jealous or angry person?

My classes are only half an hour long, so we didn't reach conclusions.  We just generated the questions.  And those questions are the invitations to further thought. 

For them, and for me. 

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