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Hamlet, Facebook and the Iliad

February 20, 2009

Sarah Schmelling over at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency has a humorous rendition of Hamlet as a Facebook news feed. Here’s how Act 1, Scene 1 comes out:

Horatio thinks he saw a ghost.

Hamlet thinks it’s annoying when your uncle marries your mother right after your dad dies.

The king thinks Hamlet’s annoying.

Laertes thinks Ophelia can do better.

Hamlet’s father is now a zombie.

What does this have to do with anything? Aside from the basic humor, it gave me an idea how to teach the Iliad.

I’ve been using Facebook as analogy to the honor-shame society of Homer. You get more honor by having more friends, more gifts, more things written on your wall. So, I’m having my students now show me the honor-shame dynamic in various books of the Iliad through the joys of Facebook. Kind of fun.

  1. Kevin permalink
    February 21, 2009 8:52 am

    Excellent idea! I hadn’t thought about it this way, I’m doing some Marxist theory soon and might think of way to bring it in…

  2. February 21, 2009 3:08 pm

    Marxist theory and the Iliad? Yummy. All Thersites, all the time!

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