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Course Description

An investigation of how infidelity and its aftermath are registered and regulated in a variety of cultural contexts and artistic forms. Desire, hatred, ambition, competition or perceived necessity might drive an infidelity; self-regard, marriage, hierarchies, even sanity may falter in its wake. Infidelities are often but not always sexual; those transgressions may sometimes be the least problematic of betrayals. We begin with the Oresteia of Aeschylus, in which husbands, wives, and children of the house of Atreus commit multiple murders to answer to or retaliate for broken vows and broken oaths. We end with an Alice Munro story in which a formerly philandering husband must come to terms with his wife’s passionate relationship with a fellow dementia patient. We will read plays, novels, sonnets, and selections from a comic epic. Authors whose works we will read may include Aeschylus, Shakespeare, Mary Wroth, Wycherley, Laclos, Byron, Trollope, Graham Greene, Hawthorne, and Ford Madox Ford. 

Basic Enrollment Requirements: Unofficial Transcript – High School Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, or progress towards a Bachelor’s Degree + 3.0 GPA.

Instructor Approval: Not Required.

Remission Eligible: Yes; first day of term; all university policies apply.

Refund Policy: Course Policy 1

Affiliated With:

School of Arts & Sciences