This course examines the ancient life and modern afterlife of a variety of classical myths in different literary traditions. We follow the development of particular mythical figures (e.g., Odysseus, Orpheus, Helen) from their ancient sources to their modern iterations and transformations. We will be thinking in particular about the cultural work that myths accomplish. Is the use of myth opposed to an interest in the modern or the contemporary? How do modern artists use myth to give voice to characters traditionally ignored or to challenge conventional narratives? Can myths still help us tell our own stories?