Date of Submission

Spring 2012

Academic Program

Classical Studies

Project Advisor 1

William Mullen

Abstract/Artist's Statement

"The Descent of Inanna" is an ancient Mesopotamian myth about a goddess who voluntarily goes to the Underworld, where she is stripped, humiliated, and killed, only to be returned to life once she offers her lover in exchange for herself. But despite this story's dark subject matter and the thousands of years which separate it from the modern reader, close examination of the "Descent" narrative reveals a vibrant sense of humor behind the writing which is still intelligible today.

"Laughter Carries a Long Way" is a senior project with two parts. The first part is a scholarly examination of "The Descent of Inanna" as an example of ancient comedy. The second is a play (entitled "Inanna Goes Down"), which attempts to retell the story in a modern idiom without sacrificing the tension, drama, and laughter of the original.

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