"Though the seas threaten, they are merciful": Classic Literature and the Virtue of Hope

All too often people look at our world with despair and hopelessness. The title of this course comes from Shakespeare’s Tempest (V. i. 178), and sums up the spirit of his late plays that speak of resurrected life and reborn hope. Classic Literature read through the eyes of faith can give us a new way to address the hopelessness around us and cultivate the virtue of hope.

Session Titles

1.Homecoming and Glory: Epic Hope in Homer
2.The Unseen Future: Aeneas and the Promise of Rome
3.'Why not climb up the mountain of delight?': Dante’s Purgatorio
4.‘Though the seas threaten, they are merciful’: Late Shakespeare and Redemptive Hope
5.‘For hope would be hope for the wrong thing': Optimism and the 19th Century
6. Landscapes of Despair; Landmarks of Hope: T.S. Eliot and Modernity

Taught by:

Dr. Freeh

John Freeh, Ph.D.

Director of the Newman Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture