Why Do We Read That Book?

How many students enjoy reading Greek Classics in Classical Literature? In reading Oedipus the King, Antigone, and The Bacchae, many of these stories are indubitably unlike anything we would read in today’s literature.

In the classic work, Oedipus the King, A son kills his father and marries his mother, and at the very end of the story, Oedipus gouges his eyes out. In the book Antigone, she fights for the right for her brother, Polynices, to have a proper burial, but she ends up being put to death by Creon in his rage. In the book, The Bacchae Pentheus, the king, refuses to worship the new god Dionysus. So Dionysus drives Pentheus’ mother into a crazy frenzy and she tears Pentheus to pieces.

Even though these books may seem disturbing, freshman Val Fish offers a good point saying, “It broadens our perspective on the world and helps us see it from a different point of view.”

On the contrary, freshman Tom Heyda says, “This graphic violence and immorality can put unwanted images in the teens head.”

Dr. Biebighauser is the current 9th Grade Classical Literature teacher clarifies these questions saying, “Partially for entertainment value, violent and gory stuff can grab our attention and make us care about characters. Partially it’s an acknowledgment that 14 and 15-year-olds deal with dark and troubling stuff, and we don’t want to shelter them from that, we want them to be able to talk and write about it.”

By reading these Classical works, Providence teens are taking part in the conversations started since the beginning of time. These stories have been teaching people to think and develop virtue and understand character. PA students will be well prepared to carry the literary torch into the future. 

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