Posts Tagged ‘Orpheus’

It was scarcely a revelation that Boris Johnson should have written two articles about the EU Referendum, trying out the arguments and testing the different propositions before choosing the side that seemed to suit his personal ambitions best. A little more surprising was the lapse in his knowledge of classical myth, confusing two different classical accounts of journeys into hell: “He [Cameron] was going to probe the belly of the beast and bring back British sovereignty, like Hercules bringing Eurydice back from the underworld.” Johnson’s gratuitous classical references are, we may reasonably suspect, all part of his carefully constructed image, and I wouldn’t be wholly surprised if one of the reasons for the crisis of A-level Classical Civilisation turned out to be widespread aversion to classical literature and history as a result of his appropriation of them, making it ever harder to argue against the association of the subject with arrogance and privilege. But this supposed display of superior intelligence and education does depend on him getting the references right… (more…)

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