English 4900 Seminar of Language and Literature, Spring 2020

TR 11:00-12:15 p.m., Kilpatrick Hall 136

Translation Activity

During our last class, we generally discussed how Emily Wilson's translation felt more emotional and less abstract than other translations we've read. Today, let's break into three groups and compare a passage from Emily Wilson's translation (Book 16, lines 185-222) with another translation. Each group will report to the class the differences in meaning, connotation, denotation, structure, tone, and so forth. We'll compare the fourth passage as a class.


Group 1: George Chapman, 1616


He replied; "I hold
‭ No deified state. Why put you thus on me
‭ A God's resemblance? I am only he
‭ That bears thy father's name; for whose lov'd sake
‭ Thy youth so grieves, whose absence makes thee take
‭ Such wrongs of men." Thus kiss'd he him, nor could
‭ Forbear those tears that in such mighty hold
‭ He held before, still held, still issuing ever;
‭ And now, the shores once broke, the springtide never
‭ Forbore earth from the cheeks he kiss'd. His son,
‭ By all these violent arguments not won
‭ To credit him his father, did deny
‭ His kind assumpt, and said, some Deity
‭ Feign'd that joy's cause, to make him grieve the more;
‭ Affirming, that no man, whoever wore
‭ The garment of mortality, could take,
‭ By any utmost pow'r his soul could make,
‭ Such change into it, since, at so much will,
‭ Not Jove himself could both remove and fill
‭ Old age with youth, and youth with age so spoil,
‭ In such an instant. "You wore all the soil
‭ Of age but now, and were old; and but now
‭ You bear that young grace that the Gods indow
‭ Their heav'n-born forms withal." His father said:
‭ "Telemachus! Admire, nor stand dismay'd,
‭ But know thy solid father; since within
‭ He answers all parts that adorn his skin.
‭ There shall no more Ulyssesses come here.
‭ I am the man, that now this twentieth year
‭ (Still under suff'rance of a world of ill)
‭ My country-earth recover. 'Tis the will
‭ The prey-professor Pallas puts in act,
‭ Who put me thus together, thus distract
‭ In aged pieces as ev'n now you saw,
‭ This youth now rend'ring. 'Tis within the law
‭ Of her free pow'r. Sometimes to show me poor,
‭ Sometimes again thus amply to restore
‭ My youth and ornaments, she still would please.
The Gods can raise, and throw men down, with ease."
‭ This said, he sat; when his Telemachus pour'd
‭ Himself about him; tears on tears he show'r'd,
‭ And to desire of moan increas'd the cloud.
‭ Both wept and howl'd, and laid out shrieks more loud
‭ Than or the bird-bone-breaking eagle rears,
‭ Or brood-kind vulture with the crooked seres,
‭ When rustic hands their tender eyries draw,
‭ Before they give their wings their full-plum'd law.
‭ But miserably pour'd they from beneath
‭ Their lids their tears, while both their breasts did breathe
‭ As frequent cries; and, to their fervent moan,
‭ The light had left the skies, if first the son
‭ Their dumb moans had not vented, with demand
‭ What ship it was that gave the natural land
‭ To his bless'd feet?


Group 2: Alexander Pope, 1725


"Few are my days (Ulysses made reply),
Nor I, alas! descendant of the sky.
I am thy father. O my son! my son!
That father, for whose sake thy days have run
One scene of woe! to endless cares consign'd,
And outraged by the wrongs of base mankind."

Then, rushing to his arms, he kiss'd his boy
With the strong raptures of a parent's joy.
Tears bathe his cheek, and tears the ground bedew:
He strain'd him close, as to his breast he grew.
"Ah me! (exclaims the prince with fond desire)
Thou art not--no, thou canst not be my sire.
Heaven such illusion only can impose,
By the false joy to aggravate my woes.
Who but a god can change the general doom,
And give to wither'd age a youthful bloom!
Late, worn with years, in weeds obscene you trod;
Now, clothed in majesty, you move a god!"

"Forbear (he cried,) for Heaven reserve that name;
Give to thy father but a father's claim;
Other Ulysses shalt thou never see,
I am Ulysses, I, my son, am he.
Twice ten sad years o'er earth and ocean toss'd,
'Tis given at length to view my native coast.
Pallas, unconquer'd maid, my frame surrounds
With grace divine: her power admits no bounds;
She o'er my limbs old age and wrinkles shed;
Now strong as youth, magnificent I tread.
The gods with ease frail man depress or raise,
Exalt the lowly, or the proud debase."

He spoke and sate. The prince with transport flew,
Hung round his neck, while tears his cheek bedew;
Nor less the father pour'd a social flood;
They wept abundant, and they wept aloud.
As the bold eagle with fierce sorrow stung,
Or parent vulture, mourns her ravish'd young;
They cry, they scream, their unfledged brood a prey
To some rude churl, and borne by stealth away:
So they aloud: and tears in tides had run,
Their grief unfinish'd with the setting sun;
But checking the full torrent in its flow,
The prince thus interrupts the solemn woe.
"What ship transported thee, O father, say;
And what bless'd hands have oar'd thee on the way?"


Group 3: Robert Fitzgerald, 1965


The noble and enduring man replied:
"No god. Why take me for a god? No, no.
I am that father whom your boyhood lacked
and suffered pain for lack of. I am he."
Held back too long, the tears ran down his cheeks
as he embraced his son.
Only Telémakhos,
uncomprehending, wild
with incredulity, cried out:


"You cannot
be my father Odysseus! Meddling spirits
conceived this trick to twist the knife in me!
No man of woman born could work these wonders
by his own craft, unless a god came into it
with ease to turn him young or old at will.
I swear you were in rags and old,
and here you stand like one of the immortals!"


Odysseus brought his ranging mind to bear
and said:
"This is not princely, to be swept
away by wonder at your father's presence.
No other Odysseus will ever come,
for he and I are one, the same; his bitter
fortune and his wanderings are mine.
Twenty years gone, and I am back again
on my own island.

As for my change of skin,
that is a charm Athena, Hope of Soldiers,
uses as she will; she has the knack
to make me seem a beggar man sometimes
and sometimes young, with finer clothes about me.
It is no hard thing for the gods of heaven
to glorify a man or bring him low."


When he had spoken, down he sat.
Then, throwing
his arms around this marvel of a father
Telémakhos began to weep. Salt tears
rose from the wells of longing in both men,
and cries burst from both as keen and fluttering
as those of the great taloned hawk,
whose nestlings farmers take before they fly.
So helplessly they cried, pouring out tears,
and might have gone on weeping so till sundown,
had not Telémakhos said:

"Dear father! Tell me
what kind of vessel put you here ashore
on Ithaka? Your sailors, who were they?
I doubt you made it, walking on the sea!"


Group 4: Robert Fagles, 1996


"No, I am not a god,"
the long-enduring, great Odysseus returned.
"Why confuse me with one who never dies?
No, I am your father—
the Odysseus you wept for all your days,
you bore a world of pain, the cruel abuse of men."

And with those words Odysseus kissed his son
and the tears streamed down his cheeks and wet the ground,
though before he'd always reined his emotions back.
But still not convinced that it was his father,
Telemachus broke out, wild with disbelief,
"No, you're not Odysseus! Not my father!
Just some spirit spellbinding me now—
to make me ache with sorrow all the more.
Impossible for a mortal to work such marvels,
not with his own devices, not unless some god
comes down in person, eager to make that mortal
young or old—like that! Why, just now
you were old, and wrapped in rags, but now, look,
you seem like a god who rules the skies up there!"


"Telemachus," Odysseus, man of exploits, urged his son,
"it's wrong to marvel, carried away in wonder so
at sight of your father here before your eyes.
No other Odysseus will ever return to you.
That man and I are one, the man you see . . .
here after many hardships,
endless wanderings, after twenty years
I have come home to native ground at last.
My changing so? Athena's work, the Fighter's Queen—
she has that power, she makes me look as she likes,
now like a beggar, the next moment a young man,
decked out in handsome clothes about my body.
It's light work for the gods who rule the skies
to exalt a mortal man or bring him low."


At that
Odysseus sat down again, and Telemachus threw his arms
around his great father, sobbing uncontrollably
as the deep desire for tears welled up in both.
They cried out, shrilling cries, pulsing sharper
than birds of prey—eagles, vultures with hooked claws—
when farmers plunder their nest of young too young to fly.
Both men so filled with compassion, eyes streaming tears,
that now the sunlight would have set upon their cries
if Telemachus had not asked his father, all at once,
"What sort of ship, dear father, brought you here?—
Ithaca, at last. Who did the sailors say they are?
I hardly think you came back home on foot!"

Presentation Schedule

Sign up for four slots distributed as equally as possible throughout the semester and making sure that you do not sign up for the same literary period and critical approaches of an author/text.

Due Date



T, 1-28

Kyd, Literary Period

LP1 Sydney Wilson

Kyd, Critical Approach: Feminism

CA1 Aurora Perez

R, 1-30

Kyd, Critical Approach: Marxism

CA2 Sydney Miller

R, 2-6

Blake, Literary Period

LP2 Bentley Brock

Blake, Songs of Experience, Critical Approach: Existentialism

CA3 Griffin Kilby

T, 2-11

Blake, Songs of Experience, Critical Approach: Ecocriticism

CA4 Aurora Perez

T, 2-18

Jacobs, Literary Period

LP3 Isabelle Morris

Jacobs, Critical Approach: Feminism

CA5 Sydney Wilson

R, 2-20

Jacobs, Critical Approach:


CA6 Abby Giordano

R, 2-27

Eliot, Literary Period

LP4 Aurora Perez

Eliot, Critical Approach: Psychoanalysis

CA7 Bentley Brock

T, 3-3

Eliot, Critical Approach: Ecocriticism

CA8 Isabelle Morris

T, 3-10

Larsen, Literary Period

LP5 Griffin Kilby

Larsen, Critical Approach: African American Criticism

CA9 Sydney Miller

R, 3-12

Larsen, Critical Approach: Psychoanalytic Criticism

CA10 Abby Giordano

T, 3-31

Ballard, Literary Period

LP6 Sydney Miller

Ballard, Critical Approach

Structuralist Criticism

CA11 Griffin Kilby

R, 4-2

Ballard, Critical Approach

Psychoanalytic Criticism

CA12 Sydney Wilson

R, 4-9

Carter, Literary Period

LP7 Abby Giordano

T, 4-14

Carter, Critical Approach

Marxist Criticism

CA13 Bentley Brock

Carter, Critical Approach

Feminisrt Criticism

CA14 Isabelle Morris

R, 4-16

Research Presentations

RP1 Sydney Miller

RP2 Bentley Brock

T, 4-21

Research Presentations

RP3 Abby Giordano

RP4 Aurora Perez

RP5 Isabelle Morris

R, 4-23

Research Presentations

RP6 Griffin Kilby

RP7 Sydney Wilson

Critical Approaches Essays

The two critical approach essays are designed to review your understanding of the various systems of interpreting literature, and they will help the class look at our literary works in multiple ways. Your essay should interpret the literary text using the questions and tenets of your chosen methodology. Integrate at least one theoretical source (i.e., an article of theory) and two interpretive sources (i.e., scholarly journal articles or book chapters that interprets the primary text). Attach to the paper (but not part of the page range) a 5-10 point list of the critical approach's key tenets for interpreting literature. In addition to submitting the written paper, you will also read the paper and critical approach tenet list to the class in order to get feedback on your paper as well as to broach class discussion of the text.


You may use any of the approaches below to interpret the work of literature; let your professor know of the approach you plan to use one week before the due date. You should not use the same approach in both essays, and you should consult with the other students who are scheduled to interpret the literary work to make sure that you all employ different approaches.


Sign Up

The combined critical approaches, literary project, and research presentation sign up sheet is here.

Literary Period Project

While the critical approaches essays requires you to review the various ways too interpret literature, the literary period project compels you to review the major literary periods and authors'/texts' place within those periods.

Annotated Bibliography

Literary Period: Research the literary period of your assigned text, and compile 5-7 scholarly journal articles and book chapters that conceptualize, describe, and frame the literary period.


Text and Author: Rresearch the author and text, focusing on how the author and text fit into the literary period, and compile a 3-5-scholarly journal articles and book chapters that situate the literary text and/or author's place within the literary period.


Each annotation of the 10 source annotated bibliography should be approximately 100 words long and answer the following questions:

  1. What question, issue, or topic is the source investigating?
  2. What is the source's thesis or conclusion regarding the work of literature?
  3. How does the source help your understanding of the work of literature?

Annotate scholarly journal articles and scholarly book chapters only; do not use websites, magazines, and other general sources. As a review, here's how to conduct literary research at our university.


Your 15 minute audiovisual presentation should not only convey the research in your annotated bibliography (you could share annotations, for instance), but also synthesize the research by making your own informed claims about the period and the author's and text's place within the period. Coronavirus Update: Make a slideshow presentation and embed audio of yourself presenting. Ask the class some questions;


Sign Up

The combined critical approaches, literary project, and research presentation sign up sheet is here.

Research Project

Over the course of the semester, you will expand a short, non-research essay from a previous class into an 15-18 page research paper and 15 minute presentation.

Research Project Selection Workshop

The first stage of the research project will be to select an essay to expand. Choose two short essays from former classes that do not include research and post them to GeorgiaVIEW > Course Work > Discussions > Research Project Selection by Sunday, February 2 (failure to submit on time will result in a one-third letter grade deduction for the final research project grade). Read your group members' short essays before class on Tuesday, February 4 and prepare to give them ideas for revision, research, and expansion. During Tuesday's Research Project Workshop, groups will share ideas for revision, research, and expansion.


Here are the groups:

Research Project Conference

After the Research Project Workshop, writers will 1) choose an essay, 2) compose a paragraph or two long research, revision, and expansion strategy, and 3) submit that plan to GeorgiaVIEW > Course Work > Assignments > Research Project Conference by Sunday, February 23 (failure to submit on time will result in a one-third letter grade deduction for the final research project grade). Instead of class on Tuesday, February 25, you will meet your professor for 15 minutes in Arts & Sciences 330 to discuss your research project plan.


T, 2-25



1 Isabelle Morris


2 Aurora Perez


3 Abby Giordano


4 Griffin Kilby






7 Sydney Miller


8 Sydney Wilson


9 Bentley Brock



Annotated Bibliography

The annotated bibliography for your research project is due in GeorgiaVIEW > Course Work > Assignments > Annotated Bibliography on Thursday, March 5. (Failure to submit the annotated bibliography on time will result in a one-third letter grade deduction for the final research project.) In addition to adhering to MLA style and being formatted in Microsoft Word, your bibliography should include 10 scholarly sources (a mixture of book chapters and journal articles) and each annotation should be approximately 100 words long. You will receive feedback on your bibliography approximately one week after submission, which you can use to revise the bibliography for final, graded submission during on Friday, May 1.

Research Project Draft Workshop

On Sunday, April 5, the first draft of your research paper is due in two places: GeorgiaVIEW > Course Work > Discussions > Research Paper Draft (for your peer group) and GeorgiaVIEW > Course Work > Assignments > Research Project Paper Draft (for your professor). Your draft must be at least 8 pages long not including the Works Cited page, adhere to MLA style, and be formatted in Microsoft Word (Failure to submit the draft of sufficient length on time will result in a one-third letter grade deduction for the final research project.) Group members will read the papers before class on Tuesday, April 7 and provide feedback during the workshop session using the Peer Review Worksheet. Coronavirus Update: Each group decides if it wants members either to write the peer response individually or to write the peer response collectively over audio or video conference call on Tuesday, April 7 or Wednesday, April 8.  Post the completed peer response sheets in the discussion board by Wednesday, April 8.


Here are the groups:

Research Presentations

Your 15 minute audiovisual presentation should not only convey the research in your annotated bibliography but also share your informed interpretation and research-supported analysis of your topic. The combined critical approaches, literary project, and research presentation sign up sheet is here. Coronavirus Update: Since one of the main goals for the presentation is for you to practice delivering researched argument and analysis in an audiovisual format as you might at an academic conference or a job setting, as opposed to writing and reading papers, and since the online format largely hinders this style, we're going to cancel the presentations. Instead, use the time to write your papers. You are encouraged to share updated drafts with your peers and professor.

Research Paper and Annotated Bibliography

The final 15-18 page research paper as well as the final 10 source annotated bibliography are due in GeorgiaVIEW > Course Work > Assignments > Research Project on Friday, May 1. Retrieve your course grade in PAWS on Wednesday, May 6. If you wish to know your research project grade, please ask for it at the top of your research project paper, and it will be provided in GeorgiaVIEW > Couse Work > Assignments > by Wednesday, May 6.

Career Preparation Portfolio

In order to prepare for the job, internship, or graduate school search, you will create a portfolio of writing: resumes and cover letters for jobs and internships or a curriculum vita and statement of purpose for graduate school. Writing will be workshopped in class and reviewed by the Career Center. Also, you will be required to attend a mock interview through the Career Center. Besides required resume review and mock interview appointments for our class, the Career Center and I also strongly encourage you to make a Career Strategic Plan appointment, part of the career planning milestones.

Career Center Appointments

In addition to receiving peer and professor feedback on your career preparation portfolio, you will receive feedback from the Career Center.

Resume or Curriculum Vita

Job or Internship Cover Letter or Graduate School Statement of Purpose

Mock Interview

There will be a 1/3 letter grade deduction for failing to complete any of the following:

Final Portfolio

Submit your revised curriculum vita or resume and your revised cover letter or statement of purpose to GeorgiaVIEW > Course Work > Assignments > Career Development Portfolio by Thursday, April 2. Failure to submit the revised portfolio will result in a one-third letter grade penalty on your Career Preparation Portfolio. Note that the Career Center will report your attendance for the Resume Review and Mock Interview to your professor.