Course Name: The Return of the King
Instructor: Frank Russell
It seems that we have bid a farewell to kings. Our founding fathers condemned George III as a cruel tyrant; we gave his title to Elvis and rented out Camelot to JFK. We demoted Christ from Pankrator to BFF, and have come to expect that our will be done on heaven as it is as on earth. Have we outgrown kings? Or driven them into exile? Are they so trite? Or are they so dangerous to postmodernism? In this course, you will read and discuss three texts heavily influenced by idealized visions of a royal past – Homer’s Odyssey, Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings – as well as a number of shorter works and commentaries.