North American Scholar
GOODELL, Thomas Dwight
B.A. Yale, 1877; Ph.D., 1884.
- Professional Experience:
Class, tchr., Hartford (CT) HS, 1877-88; asst. prof, to prof. Gk. lang. & lit. Yale, 1888-1920; ann. prof. ASCSA, 1894-95, mng. comm. ASCSA, 1908-20; pres. APA. 1911-2.
“The Genitive Case in Sophokles” (Yale, 1884); printed TAPA 15 (1884) 5-35.
“Quantity in English Verse,” TAPA 16 (1885) 78-103; The Greek in English: First Lessons in Greek (New York, 1886; rev. 1892); “The Order of Words in Greek,” TAPA 21 (1890) 5-47; “Aristotle on the Public Arbitrators,” AJP 12 (1891) 319-26; Greek Lessons Part I: The Greek in English; Part II: The Greek of Xenophon (New York, 1892); “Grave Monuments from Athens,” AJA 10 (1895) 469-79; “Dörpfeld and the Greek Theatre,” AJP 18 (1897) 1-18; Chapters on Greek Metric (New York, 1901); “Hymnos Andron: Greek Festival Hymn for Yale . . .,” Yale Alumni Weekly 11 (1902) 169-70; School Grammar of Attic Greek (New York, 1902); Greek Lessons for Beginners, with F. S. Morrison (New York, 1903); “Word-Accent in Catullus's Galliambics,” TAPA 34 (1903) 27-32; “Bisected Trimeters in Attic Tragedy,” CP 1 (1906) 145-67; “Structural Variety in Attic Tragedy,” TAPA 41 (1910) 71-98; “Imagination and Will in MH,” AJP 33 (1912) 436-46; Athenian Tragedy: A Study in Popular Art (New Haven, 1920; repr. Port Washington, NY, 1969); Commemoration, and Other Verses (New Haven, 1921).
Goodell's enduring contribution was his metrical work, but he also produced two innovative beginning Greek books. He believed that reading rather than lists should be used to learn vocabulary and that sight-reading by a class that had learned its forms and syntax thoroughly was the best way to learn. His method did not find wide acceptance, principally because the use of a grammar and a reading book was too cumbersome. Later in life he widened his scope to the study of Athenian tragedy, resulting in his posthumously published volume on the subject. He was chiefly concerned with the history, the form, and content of the tragedies, emphasizing the similarities of ancient and modern theater rather than the differences, chiefly in response to charges of irrelevance leveled by such as the critic William Archer, who claimed, for instance, that there was no more conflict in the Agamemnon than that of a fly that has walked upon the spider's web. Goodell offered sane responses to such judgments, but all too often made statements equally wild about modern drama. Nevertheless, he was a significant, if slightly eccentric figure at Yale, who composed a Greek hymn to music for the celebration of 1902. In the words of C. W. Mendell, “He will stand in the classical annals as the exponent of unsparing accuracy in scholarship and as the untiring champion of classical culture against the invasion of utilitarian education.”
C.W. Mendell, AJP 41 (1920) 406-7; NatCAB 19:146-47; WhAm 1:467
- Author: Ward W. Briggs, Jr.