World Literature I

World Literature I XLS Group El Spring
ESSAY TOPIC 2
Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is for you to demonstrate your knowledge of a text through analysis.

Skills: The purpose of this assignment is to help you practice critical thinking through presenting and supporting an analysis of the reading. It will also help you:

  • Create a thesis and select proper supporting details for a critical essay.
  • Recall the action, themes, or concepts found in the readings.
  • Apply historical and cultural information to the understanding of the text.

Knowledge: This essay will expand your understanding of academic inquiry and writing by:

  • Providing you practice with documentation, both in-text and bibliographic.
  • Encouraging active reading, which includes things like highlighting the text, note taking, and marking the text.
  • Investigating diverse views on literary texts.

Task: To complete this assignment, you should:

  • Select one (1) of the topics listed here and write a response that is 500-700 words in length.
  • You are required to reference relevant scenes/action as well as direct quotes from the works to prove your thesis.
  • The essay should be typed, double-spaced, Times New Roman, and in 12pt font.
  • Put your name, class and date at the top left-hand corner of the first page of the essay, along with your title (something that reflects your subject, no not “Essay 1”) centered. No cover page.
  • Use MLA parenthetical format to document the quotations. Include a Works Cited.
  • You should refer to your Reading Review Sheet to help you formulate and organize your thoughts.
  • Refer to the World Lit Essays Grading Rubric found below or on your syllabus for how your essay will be assessed.

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  1. Discuss the role of revenge in Medea OR Agamemnon. Is the revenge justified in the play? How can you tell?
  2. In Poetics, Aristotle claims that Oedipus the King is an ideal tragedy. Discuss at least three (3) elements that prove that Oedipus the King is indeed an ideal tragedy.
  3. Discuss the female protagonist in Medea OR Agamemnon. How does the character compare to the Greek ideal of womanhood (ex. Penelope)?
  4. Oedipus the King often brings up the issue of fate and whether or not one can avoid one’s destiny. Do you think that the downfall of Oedipus is of his own doing or it is his destiny, and thus, out of his control?
  5. Discuss the importance of wit in the character Odysseus in The Odyssey. In what ways is Odysseus’s heroism tied to his intelligence?

Criteria: You will be graded on the quality of your thesis (for example, do you respond directly to the topic questions) and on the thoroughness of your support (do you include relevant references to scenes/action and direct quotes). Refer to the World Lit Essays Grading Rubric (below) for details.


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