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This first essay question will blend both knowledge of the literature, the cultu
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This first essay question will blend both knowledge of the literature, the cultural context, and your own critical thinking skills. Be sure to be specific and answer the questions as fully as you can. This question may focus on just one text. You must choose one question from those listed below. This essay will be approximately 500-750 words with citations of the work in question included in-text and in the work cited page.
1. What is the significance of Ovid’s organization of The Metamorphoses around the idea of change / transformation? How does this idea present itself in the work? Does this this reflect certain aspects of the Roman culture in which he creates this piece? His exile?
2. In Ancient literature, the gods / goddesses represented are oftentimes presented as evil / destructive or good / helpful but usually not a mixture of these. How does one interpret this bifurcation within the literature? What does this dual nature of divinity do for ancient humans in helping them understand their world? Does it reflect human nature itself or act to warn humans of certain types of folly? Does it do both?
3. In Horace’s Satires, he examines the world in such a way that the often absurd nature of society and life around him is observed. Looking at his “Leaving the big city behind I found lodgings at Aricia,” examine the ways in which epic form is manipulated to produce this comedic interpretation. In what ways do we find him challenging the ideology behind the epic? Is this an epic? For what purposes do you perceive he creates this work within the context of the ancient world?
4. The hero / villain in the ancient literature have been omnipresent and oftentimes conflicts with certain ideas we have of these figures today. Looking at one specific hero or villain from a work we have read, examine this individual within our modern understanding of these figures. What is it about the villain that we find sympathetic? What is it about the hero that we find problematic? What is it about this figure that ultimately conflicts or upholds our conception of this archetypal character within our eyes as modern audience members reading these ancient texts?