Two of the following three questions will appear on the midterm, and you’ll write an essay in response to one of them. In other words, if you draft responses to two of these questions you’ll be prepared for the test. Be sure to have a clear thesis and support it with specific textual examples and careful analysis.
- Contrast the view of honor or fame between two of the books we’ve read. For instance, you might contrast The Odyssey with The Divine Comedy or Beowulf with The Odyssey? Do both texts treat honor similarly, or do you see a difference in the way they understand the value, role, and potential pitfalls of honor?
- How is the capacity for human freedom portrayed in Antigone, and how does this compare to its portrayal in Beowulf? Both of these stories end with tragic deaths, but does one imagine more possibility for individual human action than the other?
- Compare the role of art and literature in The Odyssey to its role in The Divine Comedy so far. Provide examples from each text and make an argument about the purpose of literature (its telos) as portrayed in these two poems.