Write an essay on one of the following topics of approximately 750 words (650-800), double-spaced, with a standard (12-point) font, and margins of approximately one inch. Give the paper a specific, appropriate title (i.e., not Paper #2 or Second Short Paper Assignment). Do not repeat the prompt at the beginning of your paper. At the top of the first page, include your name, course number and section, instructors name, and date of submission.
1. In the Iliad, Achilles says, I hate like hell / The man who says one thing and thinks another (IX, 317-18). But the Odyssey adopts a different perspective on the subject of lying. What are the uses of deceit and deception in the Odyssey? Who uses deception, and why? What attitude toward deception does this work imply?
2. Analyze one or two similes from the Odyssey in juxtaposition with one or two similes from the Iliad. In what ways do the similes in the Odyssey resemble, and in what ways do they work differently from, the similes in the Iliad? How does the subject matter of the Odyssey domestic life, even women affect these workings? You might also think about the relation between natural elements and the subject of the similes in the two works. (Choose your similes carefully!)
3. The poet of the Odyssey says that Penelope and Odysseus are like-minded. Analyze one or two ways in which Penelope proves to be a fitting partner for Odysseus. Does she show herself to be (as Odysseus is) clever, careful, or suspicious? Does she devise schemes, strategies, or deceptions? Be specific.
Develop no more than two specific, preferably interrelated, points of analysis you might choose to address only one point given the brevity of the paper.
To summarize: you are writing literary analysis, not plot summary. Formulate a precise thesis statement for your essay and a topic sentence for each paragraph. Avoid clichs and colloquialisms; use the present tense for what happens in literary works. Avoid using forms of the verbs to be and to have as main verbs as much as possible. Incorporate a few well-chosen, relevant direct quotations in support of your argument, briefly introducing and following up on each quotation.
In addition, read through and think about the recommendations in the two-page Self-Help Sheet, a guide to usage and style that I have placed on the Blackboard site for the course under Assignments. (I will refer to it as SH on your papers.) Consult these guidelines as you write, as well as after you have written a draft and are in the process of revising.
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