Greek MA

Putting The Gods In Their Place: Low Culture And Mythological Burlesque CLASSIC4004

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2 (Alternate Years)
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course explores parody of Greek epic and myth in multiple media - poetry, prose and painting - from Archaic Greece to the Second Sophistic. Situating myth burlesque in historical and cultural context, it asks what is at stake in laughing at Gods and heroes.


This is one of the honours options in Classics and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus. When running it will consist of :

Weekly online assignments + follow-up discussion.
Required posting (minimum of 2 posts a week).

one weekly seminar, generated from prior discussion

Follow-up discussion online


Seminar contribution: 20%

Online discussion:10%

Coursework essay: 20%

Project: 50%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ study the phenomena of mythological burlesque and epic parody in the ancient world

■ explore these through diverse literary, artistic and philosophical genres and forms

■ engage with non-canonical and/or "low" classical genres.

■ explore historical developments of these genres and discourses.

■ identify the cultural contexts within which they are operating

■ explore the significance of modern theory to these ancient discourses, and vice-versa.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ identify the principal loci of mythological burlesque

■ analyze the formal characteristics of literary paroidia

■ analyze the formal characteristics of satyr drama

■ discuss lines of interpretation of the set dramatic and/or poetic texts

■ critique the principal arguments of philosophical fragments

■ analyze the iconography of burlesque vase painting

■ set literary and artistic artefacts within their appropriate cultural context

■ relate or contrast artefacts from distinct contexts or genres

■ situate the artefacts under discussion within wider debates over burlesque and/or parody

■ assess these literary and artistic phenomena in relation to wider trends in religious scepticism

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.