Classics 0

Dante’s Inferno: Understanding Hell

In this episode of Literary Tales, we journey through the Inferno together to understand its construction and meanings from the pen of the great Renaissance poet Dante. Over the course of the lecture, we explore and examine every “circle” of Hell and why, in particular, Dante must journey through hell before ascending to Heaven through Purgatory.    

Classics 0

Dante’s Paradiso in 20 Minutes

In this episode of Literary Tales, we conclude the tripartite journey into Heaven in Dante’s Divine Comedy by examining how Beatrice is Dante’s “in persona Christi” in Paradiso. At long last, having learned forgiveness in Hell, the goodness of friendship and poetry in Purgatory, Dante is ready to take his seat in the eternal choir of Heaven.

Classics 0

Dante’s Purgatorio in 20 Minutes!

In this episode of Literary Tales, we proceed to examine Dante’s Purgatorio where it left off from The Inferno. In this episode we learn how Dante uses poetry as a theme and symbol for beauty, goodness, and love in guiding us to the ultimate Beauty, Goodness, and Love in Heaven.

Classics 0

Dante’s Inferno in 20 Minutes!

In this episode of Literary Tales, we begin the first of a three part 20 minute episode series covering Dante’s Divine Comedy. This episode focuses on The Inferno and the role of rediscovering love in the midst of Hell in order to escape its deadly clutches.

Classics 0

Understanding Virgil’s Aeneid: Symbolism and History

In this episode of Literary Tales we unpack Virgil’s famous epic, the Aeneid, especially his use of history, historical consciousness, and historical imagery, in driving the epic onward to its conclusion. We learn, in this deconstruction, that the Aeneid is much more than a mytho-poetic epic; it relies on the very memory and experience of Roman history and is an […]

Theology 0

Augustine’s City of God: The Two Cities

In this episode of Literary Tales we continue our examination of Augustine’s City of God and explore his juxtaposition of the two cities: The City of Man and the City of God and delve into how the privation of love leads to lust (the city of man) and how love of God and neighbors is the only true reality deserving […]

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The Real Meaning of Horace’s “Praise” Poetry

In this episode of Literary Tales we dig into the so-called “praise poetry” of Horace and deconstruct the claim that Horace was a propagadnist for Augustus. On the contrary, Horace’s traditionalism and praise of Augustus is tied to a greater concern in Horace: the romanticism of the agrarian idyll which was, in fact, the republican idyll before the Civil Wars. […]

Classics 0

Violence, Love, and the Sacred in Ovid’s Metamorphoses

In this episode of Literary Tales we explore Ovid’s Metamorphoses and the juxtapositional dialectic of love and violence relating to metamorphosis (change or transformation) in the great mytho-poetic masterpiece of one of Rome’s great sensual poets. This lecture, in particular, focuses on the stories of Perseus and Andromeda; Pygmalion and the Statue; and Acis and Galatea.  

Theology 0

Augustine’s City of God: The Critique of Rome

In this episode of the Philosophy Hour of Literary Tales we explore the magnum opus of Saint Augustine: The City of God. The first half of the City of God is, for a lack of a better word, the first work of systematic cultural critique in the Western World. In it, Augustine deconstructs the “hypnotizing myth of Rome” to “expose […]

Theology 0

Everything You Need to Know About Augustine’s Confessions

In this episode of Literary Tales, we read one of the great classics of the Western world from the man whom Robin Lane Fox called one of the smartest and most insightful men who ever lived: St. Augustine’s Confessions. In exploring the Confessions we concentrate on the so-called mystical visions of Augustine and how they are intimately tied to Augustine’s […]

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Aristophanes: The First Poet-Critic

In this episode of Literary Tales we explore the satirical writings of Aristophanes and examine him as a satirist, literary critic, and political theorist/critic. Far from being a “comic,” we begin to realize Aristophanes as a serious thinker and critic examining the pressing issues of his day while cloaking it in the veil of comedy.  

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Sophocles: From Tragedy to Hope

In this episode of Literary Tales we explore the great Greek poet playwright Sophocles and offer a reading of some of his surviving plays (Oedipus Rex, Antigone, and Electra) and how they revolve around the themes of filial decadence, dissolution, and deliverance in the broader movement of “Tragedy.” Family loyalty and dissolution, I argue, is the context to Sophoclean tragedy […]

Classics 0

Euripides: Poet of Modernity

In this episode of Literary Tales we offer a reading of Euripides: The Bacchae and Medea. In Euripides we find very modern themes of power, feminism, and masculine domination. As such, we might go as far as to say that Euripides was the prophet of modernity and put his thumb on the very issues we are now grappling with.