Reading the Aeneid:
Book I, II, IV, VIII, XII
The Iliad sections I,VI, VIII, IX, XVI, XVII, XXIV)
Choose one major hero from the readings so far and discuss that hero in terms of the good choices and the poor choices he makes (please focus on a hero other than Odysseus in The Odyssey). How, overall, do these come together to give you a particular view, positive or negative, of this hero? Be sure to illustrate your thesis and supporting points with evidence from the work you are using.
Consider our two wandering heroes, Odysseus and Aeneas, and compare their actions during their time “on the road.” What seem to be their worst moments and why? Does either seem to out-do the other in finding a real low point in his adventures?
Think about one of the heroes we have seen and consider the issue of who you see as that hero’s main antagonist. Identify the conflict between the hero and his antagonist, and create an argument about how that particular relationship fits into the epic model. What makes this an epic conflict?
Compare two heroes from different works, and create an argument about how each fits into the definition of an epic hero. What characteristics do they share? What characteristics are different, and how can we stretch the concept of “epic hero” to cover both figures?
Make your own topic: come up with your own critical question about the assigned works from this unit, and write an essay arguing for your answer to that question. If you choose to do this prompt, please note that you are required to post your critical question and working thesis to the Week 4 Essay forum so that you can receive feedback from your instructor and classmates.
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