Icarus: entering the world of myth
Icarus: entering the world of myth

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Icarus: entering the world of myth

Icarus: entering the world of myth

Introduction

In this free course, Icarus: entering the world of myth, you will be working on one short mythical narrative, the death of Icarus. One aim of this course is to introduce you to the Roman poet Ovid, a crucially important figure in the history of classical mythology. Very few Graeco-Roman mythic narratives escaped Ovid’s attention, even if some crop up in unexpected places and only feature by brief allusion. Sampling Ovid in this OpenLearn course will involve the exciting activity of probing deeper into his influence on both the matter and the method of myth-telling in the literary and visual arts for centuries after his death.

This ‘taster’ of a myth from Ovid’s Metamorphoses will also acclimatise you to reading and responding to a mythical story with an extremely varied afterlife. Here, you will focus on two famous later works which both draw on the Icarus myth: a sixteenth-century Netherlandish painting by Pieter Brueghel the Elder, and a poem written in 1938 by W.H. Auden. You will analyse the ways in which the ancient myth has been transformed in these more recent artworks, and consider what these changes can tell us about the societies in which they were created.

This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course A330 Myth in the Greek and Roman worlds [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

A330_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371