Classical Mythology, from Greece – The Near East

Classical Mythology, from Greece to the Near East

Choose one of the following two topics: A. Gender crossings. When you read the stories that focused on love and sexuality, you saw that gender boundaries were not as fixed as one might expect in the ancient imagination: stories often challenge gender stereotypes and characters with their behavior or sometimes even changing to the other sex. For your essay, find a feminine mythical character (or a set of them within a story/work) who shows masculine traits or a masculine character who shows feminine traits (in general or at a particular moment of the story). Especially focus on what you think the story wanted to say about gender by crossing these boundaries. You may pick one from outside the readings, so long as they are from ancient Greek, Roman.

Near Eastern classical mythologies and you refer to the text in which they appear (e.g. Achilles at Skyros, in GHM 5.20 in p. 449 on, or scenes in Homer’s Iliad or Odyssey, or Greek tragedies, etc.). B. Modern media and ideas of the afterlife. Choose a piece of modern media (a movie, a song, a video-clip, a painting, a novel, an opera, a comic book, etc.) that deals with the afterlife. In your brief essay, explain how the story you chose deals with the afterlife and how it compares with the ancient narratives studied in this course. FORMAT FOR ALL THREE ESSAYSFORMAT: between 550-600 words long (writing less or more that that margin will affect your grade!). Submission on Carmen as a text entry (Please include word count!). Include: Your name and assignment title (no other info that will take up words).Do not copy from any text: that is plagiarism.

Further Description

If you quote lines from any modern or ancient work, then cite it appropriately. Essays with plagiarism will be graded as 0 and further disciplinary action might be taken. How to refer to ancient texts: When you refer to the texts we have read, do so just by author (if known) and title. The title should always go in italics. You do not need to cite chapters, line numbers, etc., only the author (if known) and title, e.g. The Mesopotamian Enuma Elish (no author known) or Hesiod’s Theogony (Hesiod is the author: careful, not López-Ruiz!!!). (Not applicable to Essay #1: write your own cosmogony.)No secondary bibliographical references are needed (scholarly or internet).Submission: Carmen submission (check deadline!).

Grading: Your grade will be posted on Carmen, based on the following criteria: Format (this includes name, title of the essay, length, font/spacing, typos, spelling of names, incorrect citation of the ancient works, late submission, or other)English (correct grammar and syntax, academic-writing style [avoid slang and informal expressions], clarity)Thesis (essay addresses the question or topic; does not wander off to other topics; main thesis stated clearly)Argument (points made in the essay are well argued, well organized and presented)Use of ancient sources (refers to one or more primary sources, generally or with specific examples, e.g., “as we can see in Hesiod’s Theogony…” or “in the case of Marduk, when he kills Tiamat in the Enuma Elish …”)

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