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Note: This is only a sample study sheet from a past year, presented by way of an example. Students should not expect that the final examination in their section will follow this format.
The final exam will be divided into three sections:
In the first section you will be asked to select five passages (out of a total of seven), to identify the work from which each is taken, place each in context, and comment on the general significance of each within the context of the work as a whole and/or within the larger historical and sociological background (see the sample passages on the next page). This section will comprise 50% of your mark for the final.
The second section will consist of terms for identification (as on the midterm examination). It will account for 15% of your mark for the final.
In the third section you will be asked to write a brief essay on one of the topics presented below (your choice). You may plan your essay in advance, but must write it during the examination period. No notes or other resources will be allowed to be used. In planning your essay try to make your treatment as specific as possible, always remembering that you will not have access to the texts themselves. Remember to cite any secondary sources that you have consulted. This section will comprise the other 35% of your mark for the final.
I will hold a review session at Calories (next to the Broadway Theater) on [date/time] for anyone who would like to hone their recognition and commentary skills, go over rough drafts of their essays, etc.
Compose a brief essay on one of the following topics.
A. Using specific references from the sources we have read this term, analyze the Greek attitude toward women. (E.g., how are women presented? What traits are assigned to them? What type of behavior is expected of the "good" woman? What signs can you find [if any] of a reaction against these traditional attitudes toward women?)
N.B. A general report on the status of women in antiquity will not be sufficient. Your mark will be based on your success in demonstrating a firm grasp of the material examined in the course and the sophistication of your analysis.
B. Contrast Thucydides' approach to the writing of history with that of Herodotus. Illustrate your points by citing specific examples from the text. Include in your discussion some consideration of the historical/intellectual background that informs each author's work.
C. Our reading this term has revealed drastic alterations in Greek attitudes toward the gods between the time of Homer's Iliad and that of Euripides, particularly as regards: (1) the gods' concern for morality; (2) the nature of divine justice in general. Taking two or more of the works that we have discussed, examine some aspect (or aspects) of this transformation in outlook. [Works and authors you might consider: the Iliad, Xenophanes, Solon, Herodotus, Aeschylus' Persians, Sophocles' Oedipus the King, the Sophists, Thucydides, Euripides' Hippolytus, Aristophanes' Clouds.]
Identify the work from which each of the following is taken and comment on the significance of each, placing it in the context of the work as a whole. Remember that any one passage may have a variety of distinctive features: e.g. thematic, stylistic, socio-historical. (Feel free to employ other works that we have read for comparison and contrast.)
N.B. Your ability to identify the passage and its context will be more or less assumed (all of them are of the "greatest hits" variety): it is the quality of your analysis that is being evaluated, not merely your knowledge of the characters' identities, the plot, the date of composition or the like. Avoid mere plot summary.
"Glaukos, why is it you and I are honoured before others
with pride of place, the choice meats and the filled wine cups
in Lykia, and all men look on us as if we were immortals,
and we are appointed a great piece of land by the banks of Xanthos,
good land, orchard and vineyard, and ploughland for the planting of wheat?
Therefore it is our duty in the forefront of the Lykians
to take our stand, and bear our part of the blazing of battle,
so that a man of the close-armored Lykians may say of us:
'Indeed, these are no ignoble men who are lords of Lykia,
these kings of ours, who feed upon the fat sheep appointed
and drink the exquisite sweet wine, since indeed there is strength
of valour in them, since they fight in the forefront of the Lykians.'
Man, supposing you and I, escaping this battle,
would be able to live on forever, ageless, immortal,
so neither would I myself go on fighting in the foremost
nor would I urge you into the fighting where men win glory.
But now, seeing that the spirits of death stand close about us
in their thousands, no man can turn aside nor escape them,
let us go on and win glory for ourselves, or yield it to others."
There happened, however, a strife among men: some said it was not "death" named in the word by the ancients, but "dearth." But victory in the present situation-naturally-went to it having been "death" which was said; for men according to what they have suffered fashion memory. But if, I suppose, ever another war should come-a Dorian one, after this one-and with it should happen a dearth, then in all likelihood the word would be uttered that way.
A: Well, that's one thing; but who is it that thunders and sends shivers down my spine?
B: The Clouds do that too - when they get in a whirl. ... being suspended in the air, you see, when they get swollen with rain they are necessarily set in motion, and of course they collide with one another, and because of their weight they get broken and let loose this great noise.
A: 'Necessarily set in motion', you say. Ah, but who sets them in motion? Now that's got to be Zeus!
B: Not a bit of it; as I say, it's a whirl in the sky.
A: Awhirl! - ah, I get you! That I must say I hadn't been told before. I get it. Zeus is dead, and now Awhirl is the new king.
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