Florence Yoon

Research Interests

I am fundamentally interested in the construction of characters in genres that depend on traditional mythology, particularly Greek Tragedy. This includes areas such as:

  • Silent figures, offstage figures, and the representation of the absent
  • Anonymity and naming
  • The transformation of traditional mythical figures into unique literary characters


My major project at the moment is a monograph on the blurring of the lines between characters and objects on the Greek stage. I am approaching the problem of what makes a character by looking at those figures who are most dramaturgically limited (e.g. silent figures, children, and offstage characters), and exploring how far these populate a spectrum between fully inanimate objects (e.g. set, props, and corpses) and full-fledged characters.

My most recently completed project is a Companion to Euripides’ Children of Heracles (Bloomsbury Academic, 2020), an introduction to a fast-paced play that explores the nature of power and its abuse, focusing on the appropriate treatment and behaviour of refugees, and the obligations and limitations of asylum.


DPhil Classical Languages and Literature, 2008, University of Oxford

M.St. Classical Languages and Literature, Distinction, 2003, University of Oxford

B.A. Classics, First Class Honours, 2002, University of King’s College/Dalhousie

Previous employment

Worcester College (Oxford): College Lecturer (2010-2011)

Trinity College (Oxford): College Lecturer (2009-2011)

Somerville College (Oxford): Fulford Junior Research Fellow (2008-2009)

I would be glad to hear from any prospective graduate students interested in working in Greek literature, particularly on Greek drama, on marginality, and/or on characterization.

Courses regularly taught at UBC:

  • CLST 101: The Greek and Latin Roots of English
  • CLST 105: Greek and Roman Mythology
  • CLST 317: Greek Tragedy
  • GREK 300, 400, and 500: Upper-level (graduate and undergraduate) Greek language and literature
  • Upper-level (graduate and undergraduate) seminars

Teaching before UBC

Greek literature of the 5th c. BCE; Greek tragedy; Early Greek hexameter poetry; Homer’s Iliad; Greek language; Latin literature of the 1st c. CE; Vergil’s Aeneid; Latin language


“Heralds and messengers: character identity and function in Greek Tragedy.” Classical Philology. Forthcoming.

“The mirrored structure of Thesmophoriazusae: hero, plot, and themes.” Phoenix. Forthcoming.

Euripides: The Children of Heracles, Companions to Greek and Roman Tragedy, Bloomsbury Academic (2020)

“Against the Prometheia: rethinking resolution and the ‘connected tetralogy.’” TAPA, 146.2: 257-80. (2016)

“The Herald of Hyllus? Identifying the Ὕλλου πενέστης in Heracleidae.” CQ 65.1: 51-9. (2015)

The Use of Anonymous Characters in Greek Tragedy, Brill (2012)

Recent Conference Papers

  • 2019, “ ‘Aeschylean Silence’ et ‘l’absence eschyléen’. Classical Association of Canada Annual Meeting. Hamilton, ON.
  • 2018, “The agon(y) of literary lament”. Classical Association of Canada Annual Meeting. Calgary, AB.
  • 2017, “Active silence and the end of Ajax”. Greek Drama V. Vancouver, BC.
  • 2017, “The tragic child and the detachment of Eurysaces”. Classical Association of Canada Annual Meeting. St John’s, Nfld.
  • 2016, “φίλον κήρυκα κηρύκων σέβας: Hermès et/ou l’héraut humain”. Classical Association of Canada Annual Meeting. Laval, QC.
  • 2016, “The limitations of children’s thinking”. Minds on Stage: cognitive approaches to Greek tragedy. Leiden, NL.
  • 2016, “Heralds and Messengers”. Classical Association (UK) Annual Conference. Edinburgh, UK
  • 2015, “The Second Prologues of Euripides”. Classical Association of Canada Annual Meeting. Toronto, ON.
  • 2015, “Mute Masks and Potential People”. Classical Association (UK) Annual Conference. Exeter. (co-presented with Dr. Lucy Jackson, KCL)
  • 2015, “People as Props in Greek Tragedy”. CAMWS Annual Meeting. Boulder, Colorado.
Winter 2021

CLST101 Greek and Latin Roots of English Sections

Greek and Latin roots of English vocabulary and grammar, with an introduction to language history and Greek and Roman culture.

Winter 2021

CLST317 Classical Tragedy Sections

The plays of the Greek and Roman tragic dramatists, in translation.

Winter 2021

GREK352 Reading Ancient Greek: Verse Sections

Readings in the major authors in Greek verse.

Winter 2021

GREK403A Studies in Ancient Greek Prose and Verse - ANCT GREK P & V Sections

Thematic studies using both Greek prose and Greek verse. May be repeated for up to 6 credits. It is recommended that the corequisite course be completed prior to GREK 403.

Winter 2021

GREK503A Studies in Ancient Greek Prose and Verse - ANCNT GREK P&V Sections

Advanced thematic studies using both Greek prose and Greek verse. May be repeated for up to 6 credits.