World Literature Essay

Develop an essay response (750 words) to ANY AND ONLY ONE of the following topic/questions; LABEL YOUR ANSWER CLEARLY. Take your time so that you can produce a polished final product, but DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. (In other words, don’t wait until the last minute to prepare and submit your essay. It just won’t work!) Make sure that you do label your answer clearly. Provide a title and a well-organized introductory paragraph for your essay. An effective tactic is to re-word the actual topic in that introductory paragraph, so that it becomes your thesis statement. As you then go on make a case defending the position that you have taken, be sure to use supporting evidence from the text(s) for each point that you wish to make. A summarizing conclusion should round things out.


A. How do outside threats to the integrity of the family and the community form the basis for most of the conflict in THE ODYSSEY? (Don’t hesitate to go back as far as to the origins of the war with Troy.)


B. Illustrate at least three instances of violations of, or support for, the guest-host relationship in THE ODYSSEY. Discuss how a concern for the respect of others, particularly strangers, enforces this underlying code of proper behavior.


C. Does Sappho’s lack of interest in matters of war and conquest reflect a feminine view or is it that hers is an altogether different value system? If the latter, what is the basis for that opposing system of values?


D. Why should Agamemnon have been much more aware that he might be returning to find trouble and danger at home? Why do Klytaimnestra and Aigisthos both feel justified in taking Agamemnon’s life?


E. Discuss how the tragedy Oedipus the King reflects on how effective a person can be in assisting his community when (1.) he is perceived as an outsider, and (2.) he perceives of himself as one.


F. How does virtually everyone in the story of Oedipus as Sophocles tells it contribute to the unfolding tragedy that ultimately destroys a royal house and nearly destroys an entitre city? What might Sophocles’ point be?


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