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Classics Professor Tim Joseph Draws Classics Connections in HBO’s Hit Show ‘Succession’

October 7th, 2019 by 
Tim Joseph, associate professor of classics. Photo by Tom Rettig

Tim Joseph, associate professor of classics. Photo by Tom Rettig

Considering the expression, “Those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it,” how much of our reality can be explained through history and how much is decided by current circumstances?

In an analysis written for New York Magazine’s entertainment site Vulture.com of HBO hit show “Succession,” Tim Joseph, associate professor of classics at Holy Cross, attempts to analyze the historical and classical contexts that educate some of the show’s events.

Joseph draws several key connections to classical literature, including Oedipus Rex, Odysseus, and even several gods of Greek mythology. He demonstrates the way characters’ names can inform possible plot predictions, drawing direct parallels between the show’s events and tales inside of classic literature. “Again and again, ancient Greek and Roman references bubble up in episodes… pointing to where the show may be heading and how the succession in ‘Succession’ might play out,” said Joseph.

Professor Joseph does not directly predict the next event in the show, but leaves the audience with a question to consider, asking “Is this a case of nomen as omen? Or will Succession only confound things further[?]” Viewers will have to wait until the next episode airs to see if their historical and classical connections can accurately predict the show’s action.

To read the full article, go to Vulture.com.

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