Shakespeare Night Presents: THE ILIAD of Homer

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Starting June, 2019, we are reverting to our old starting time of 7:00 PM.

Following our readings of Roman and related plays (see our history, below), we decided to attempt the Iliad. Since it is nearly 16000 lines long, it will take at least 8 sessions, if we go at an easy pace.

We will continue our tradition wherein readers bring whichever translation they choose. When deciding, you may wish to consult https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_translations_of_Homer, which gives the opening excerpt of the epic for nearly all English translations.

At this event, we will attempt to get through Books 3, 4, and 5 (about 1500 lines)

Our readings of The Iliad prior to this event were as follows:

May, 2017: Books 1 and 2 (about 1500 lines)

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The History of Hack Manhattan's Shakespeare night:

We started by reading aloud the works of Shakespeare (including poems and apocrypha), starting September, 2013. Following this, we decided to spend about a year reading Greek plays. We started in September, 2017, and followed with Roman plays and works based upon them.

September, 2017: Aeschylus, Agamamnon
October, 2017: Aeschylus, The Libation Bearers
November, 2017: Aeschylus, The Eumenides
December, 2017: Sophocles, Oedipus Rex
January, 2018: Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus
February, 2018: Sophocles, Antigone
March, 2018: Euripides, Medea
April, 2018: Euripides, Electra
May, 2018: Euripides, Iphigenia in Tauris
June, 2018: Aristophanes, The Frogs
July, 2018: Aristophanes, Lysistrata
August, 2018: Menander, Dyskolos

Following Menander, we are reading several Roman plays on Greek themes, as follows. We're reading four the six plays of Seneca translated by Emily Wilson. The fourth will be Phaedre, and we will then read Racine's Phaedre (a role for which the great Sarah Bernhardt was famous.)

September, 2018: Seneca, Oedipus (This reading was canceled!)
October, 2018: Seneca, Medea
November, 2018: Seneca, Thyestes
December, 2018: Seneca, Phaedra
January, 2019: Racine Phèdre
February, 2019: Seneca, Oedipus (New date for Oedipus)
March, 2019: Plautus, Menaechmi (basis for The Comedy of Errors)
April, 2019: Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors

Reading Shakespeare, we had a bit of fun comparing the editions that various readers brought: the Folio edition, the Quarto edition, and various (allegedly) scholarly attempts to adjudicate or combine differences.

With the Greeks, we had the more variable issue of multiple translations. Among the best regarded are the translations of Grene and Lattimore and the more recent translations of Pagels. However, copyright issues prevented us from making any one version canonical. So we felt free to bring any edition you like. Various readers read from various translations, and it has been fun comparing them (though sometimes a challenge to follow along in a different edition). One thing that makes it "not too bad" is that most editions display the canonical line numbering set out in the Loeb Classical Library. In addition, most translations correspond on a speech-by-speech basis.

We will continue our tradition of "bring your favorite translation" for the Romans and for Racine.