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.

A secondary project is a short Companion to Euripides’ play Children of Heracles (forthcoming from Bloomsbury), 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 taught at UBC:

  • CLST 317: Classical Tragedy in Translation
  • CLST 105: Classical Mythology
  • CLST 401: Helen
  • LATN 402/502: Latin Poetry
  • GREK 301: Classical Greek

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


“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)


• 9/5/2018, “The agon(y) of literary lament”. Classical Association of Canada Annual Meeting. Calgary, AB.
• 8/7/2017, “Active silence and the end of Ajax”. Greek Drama V. Vancouver, BC.
• 12/5/2017, “The tragic child and the detachment of Eurysaces”. Classical Association of Canada Annual Meeting. St John’s, Nfld.
• 11/5/2016, “φίλον κήρυκα κηρύκων σέβας: Hermès et/ou l’héraut humain”. Classical Association of Canada Annual Meeting. Laval, QC.
• 16/4/2016, “The limitations of children’s thinking”. Minds on Stage: cognitive approaches to Greek tragedy. Leiden, NL.
• 9/4/2016, “Heralds and Messengers”. Classical Association (UK) Annual Conference. Edinburgh, UK
• 20/5/2015, “The Second Prologues of Euripides”. Classical Association of Canada Annual Meeting. Toronto, ON.
• 13/4/2015, “Mute Masks and Potential People”. Classical Association (UK) Annual Conference. Exeter. (co-presented with Dr. Lucy Jackson, KCL)
• 28/3/2015, “People as Props in Greek Tragedy”. CAMWS Annual Meeting. Boulder, Colorado.
• 7/5/2014, “Professional judgement: Odyssey 22.310-380”. Classical Association of Canada Annual Meeting. Montreal, QC.

Winter 2020

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 2020

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 2020

GREK352 Reading Ancient Greek: Verse Sections

Readings in the major authors in Greek verse.

Winter 2020

GREK202 Intermediate Ancient Greek II Sections

Completion of the grammatical foundations of Ancient Greek, Part II; introduction to the reading of unadapted passages of Greek literature.

Winter 2020

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.