Catholic Classical Flexible

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High SCHOOL Curriculum

Literature Curriculum

Ancient Greek Literature

Honors Designation Available

Course Texts:

Course Description:

This course is a companion to the Greek history course. It introduces the student to the foundational works of Greek literature and Western culture, as well as to the study of genres and literary forms. The texts of antiquity are studied for their universal appeal to the human experience, as well as for their influence upon the great thinkers and development of the West. The Greek epics, plays, and philosophy are referenced throughout the literary and intellectual works of Western thinkers to this day.

Students will identify and examine the inter-relationship between the four primary genres of all imitative forms of literature: the epic, the lyric, the tragedy, and the comedy; identify and use literary devices and figures of speech such as: similes, metaphors, allegories, fables, parables; imitate these genres and literary devices in his writing, in order to understand more deeply the nature and power of these forms; become familiar with the greatest examples of Greek literature, and their impact upon Western literature and modes of thought throughout subsequent history; compare and contrast Greek ideals of heroism and virtue with the Christian understanding of these ideals, and identify what ways Greek thought served as preparation for the Gospel.

Ancient Roman Literature

Honors Designation Available

Course Texts:

Course Description:

This course is a companion to the Roman history course, introducing the student to the important works of Roman literature, as well as to the use of figures of Roman history and literature by great writers of later times. The texts of antiquity are studied for their universal appeal to the human experience, as well as for their influence upon the great thinkers and development of the West. The Roman epics, plays, and philosophy are referenced throughout the literary and intellectual works of Western thinkers to this day. Shakespeare is also studied in this course for his inimitable analysis of the great personalities of Rome.

Students will become familiar with the main examples of Roman literature and their use by later writers, notably Shakespeare; identify and examine the inter-relationship between the Greek epic (the Iliad and the Odyssey), and the Roman epic (the Aeneid); identify the Roman virtue of pietas and its subsequent transformation in Christianity; further the study and imitation of these genres: epic, tragedy, comedy, and rhetoric. Biography (Plutarch) and autobiography (St. Augustine) will also be considered; learn to interpret and distinguish the fourfold senses of theological writings: the literal, the allegorical, the moral, and the eschatological; and trace the effect of the Greek world on the development of Latin literature, as well as the Greek influence in the works of St. Augustine.

Literature of Christendom

Honors Designation Available

Course Texts:

Additional audio supplements available (OPTIONAL):

Audio series by Henry Russell

(1) The Catholic Shakespeare

(2) Introduction to the Divine Comedies-CD (K2669)

Course Description:

This course is a companion to the History of Christendom, introducing the student to the important works of the period, as well as to the literary styles and conventions developed in this period both those that it borrowed from previous times and those it expanded on or created. Students will become familiar with the main examples of Medieval literature; identify and examine the inter-relationship between the Greek epic (the Iliad and the Odyssey), the Roman epic (the Aeneid) and the Catholic epic (The Divine Comedy); identify the Christian virtue of chivalry and its role in Medieval society; identify the Christian virtue of courtesy and its role in Medieval society; identify the Christian metaphor of the spiritual quest to attain salvation; further the study and imitation of these genres: epic, tragedy, comedy, and rhetoric; learn to interpret and distinguish the fourfold senses of theological writings: the literal, the allegorical, the moral, and the eschatological; and trace the effect of the Christian world on the development of Medieval literature.

Modern Era Literature

Honors Designation Available

Course Texts:

Course Description:

This is a challenging course intended to be taken in conjunction with the 12th grade Modern and US History course. The course is largely based on reflective reading and writing essays based on text analysis. The novels have been chosen for their timelessness and their accurate, stunning portrayal of important historical events and the ideas that have helped shape the Modern world.

This course in Modern Literature will show how modern times have reaffirmed man's capacity for terror. Dickens presents "Madame Guillotine" as the patroness of a new nation. In Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov, a brilliant young man, caters to a philosophy that is utterly evil and self-destructive. Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited chronicles the struggle of the individual seeking goodness and truth in a world that is increasingly indifferent to man's spiritual needs. Robert Louis Stevenson shows how the degenerative possibilities of scientific discoveries can affect the nature of man and subconsciously devolve him into a Mr. Hyde. In 1984, the path of atheistic politics strikes the beauty and integrity of man and dwarf him from a creature made to love and serve God to a cog in the machine of a finite and pathetic state deity. Although modernity, in the words of T.S. Eliot, is a Waste Land "where the sun beats and the dead tree gives no shelter," the Church is the refuge for Heaven-directed pilgrims, and it is a large rock in the desert inviting all to "come under the shadow of this red rock."

Students will become familiar with some of the major authors and most influential novels from the Modern Era; identify the historical events that took place during the life of the Modern writers and how these events have impacted their writing; have a greater understanding of the evolution of literary style and technique in the Modern Era; learn to interpret and analyze an author's means of conveying ideas; and appreciate the impact of philosophy upon literature, and the subsequent impact of literature upon culture.