Nashville Great Books Discussion Group

A reader's group devoted to the discussion of meaningful books.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Discussion questions for Philoctetes:

1. Has justice been done in this play?

2. Who is responsible for Philoctetes’ situation?

3. Is Neoptolemus a good man?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Sophocles' AJAX and ELECTRA

Discussion questions forAjax:

1. Has justice been done in this play?

2. Why does Odysseus side with Teucer instead of Menelaus and Agamemnon?

3. What does Ajax learn about life during the course of the play?

Discussion questions for Electra:

1. Has justice been done in this play?

2. Why isn’t Electra upset about what happened to Iphigenia?

3. Is Sophocles suggesting that it’s ok to become devious for a good cause?

Monday, January 09, 2006

Winter and Spring Reading Schedules

-- WINTER 2006 --

Plays by Sophocles

January 9...Ajax/Electra
January 16... - LIBRARY CLOSED -
January 23...Philoctetes
January 30...The Women of Trachis
February 6...Oedipus the King
February 13...Oedipus at Colonus
February 20... - LIBRARY CLOSED -
February 27... Antigone

-- SPRING 2006 --

Paradise Lost by John Milton

March 6...Paradise Lost, Book 1
March 13...Paradise Lost, Book 2
March 20...Paradise Lost, Book 3
March 27...Paradise Lost, Book 4
April 3...Paradise Lost, Book 5
April 10...Paradise Lost, Book 6
April 17...Paradise Lost, Book 7
April 24...Paradise Lost, Book 8
May 1...Paradise Lost, Book 9
May 8...Paradise Lost, Book 10
May 15...Paradise Lost, Book 11
May 22...Paradise Lost, Book 12
May 29... -- LIBRARY CLOSED --

Editions used:
Sophocles: The Complete Plays (Signet Classics)
John Milton: Paradise Lost (Penguin Classics)

The Republic - Book 10

Discussion questions for Book 10:

Why does Plato believe that art (“poetical imitations”) is ruinous to the understanding?

What is the “true nature” of a thing?

Why doesn’t Plato consider a work of art (a poem, or a painting, for example) to be a thing in its own right, with its own true nature, and not an imitation of something else?

What does Plato mean when he says “there is an ancient quarrel between philosophy and poetry”? (pg. 264)

Why does Plato consider the rational principle to be the “better part” of the soul?

What relationship do art, music and poetry have with our rational nature?

Under Plato’s theory, can a person use art wisely to improve the soul?

Can some forms of art appeal to the rational soul? If it did, would Plato approve of it in his Republic?

The Republic - Book 9

Discussion questions from Book 9:

Does everyone have a “wild-beast nature” that has to be controlled by some force?

Is rule by just one person the worst, or the best, type of government?