There will be five parts to the exam: 1) 2) 3) and 4) will consist of passages for identification and commentary (as per quiz #2) and will be worth 15% of your grade each. Section 5 will be an essay worth 40%.
Passages for identification and comment in each section will be drawn from the following areas. Two to four passages will be offered in each section. You will be asked to write on one passage per section. Identify (where appropriate) the author, the work, where in the work the passage occurs; comment on the relevance of the passage to important themes in the work, in the author's work as a whole, or in Greek literature as a whole, and on features of style. You should plan to spend about 10 minutes on each passage.
Section 1: Hesiod and Homer
Section 2: Homer
Section 3: Lyric Poetry (including choral lyric)
Section 4: Tragedy
Essay Topics: These are general topics from which the essay questions on the exam will be drawn. The actual wording of the questions will differ on the exam, and you will be graded on your ability to answer the question as worded on the exam. Additional factors that will go into determining your grade:
a) clear writing and clear organization
b) citation of specific examples from the texts read to support all assertions
c) ability to cite the best examples to support your assertions
d) ability to draw examples from the whole range of literature we have read so far (as far as is appropriate for the question)
e) accuracy in matters of fact
The highest grades will be reserved for essays which (in addition to the above criteria) show some originality of thought (i.e. do not simply regurgitate lectures and class discussion).
THREE of the following topics will appear on the midterm. You will write on ONE (i.e. prepare for four of them and you'll should be in pretty good shape). You should plan to spend about twenty minutes on your essay.
1. How does Greek literature reflect actual Greek society at the time it is written?
2. How are women and females (including goddesses/nymphs, etc.) portrayed by male Greek authors? Does our one woman author approach the the matter differently?
3. Who is more celebrated in early Greek literature: the fox or the hedgehog? Does the answer to this question change over time?
4. The idea that success or good fortune breeds reckless pride (hubris), thereby leading to a downfall, is one that is frequently expressed in Greek literature. How is it expressed in the literature we have read so far?
5. What are the distinctive features of the various genres of Greek literature we have read so far. To what extent are not just form and meter and occasion, but also topics, themes and outlooks genre-specific?
6. Consider the notion of the hero in early Greek literature. Is there such a thing, in any of the modern senses of the word?
Names: Use the study notes I have provided elsewhere on this web site as a guide to which of the many names I will expect you to know (though the names listed there should not be construed as a completely exhaustive list). Be as accurate as possible in the spelling of Greek names. I generally tend toward leniency in spelling if I can tell from the spelling that you at least know how the name is pronounced, though the following misspellings tend to set my teeth on edge and put me in a bad mood: Zues, Illiad, Oddyssey, Appollo (correctly: Zeus, Iliad, Odyssey, Apollo)