Michael Delahoyde, PhD

Professor of English

Mythology End-of-Semester Exam
Fall 2023

Fall 2023 — Delahoyde
Washington State University

MYTHOLOGY END-OF-SEMESTER EXAM


BIG DAY: WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 29th, 11:00-12:00 noon.

Your last significant obligations to this course will be an exam and an essay, similar to the midterm. Exam questions and answers will concern only the works covered from after the midterm exam through the end of the semester: remind yourself by reviewing the syllabus, but that means the Greek plays and Metamorphoses, through Lucrece and the other mythological materials such as love, lycanthropy, the Shakespeare authorship, and monsters during these last several weeks. (For streamlined studying, my web pages on Ovid highlight with asterisks the stories and characters you should recognize; do not worry about the others.) Here is the plan for the last exam.

I. IDENTIFICATIONS. [Total 30 points = 15 questions, 2 points each.]

On the designated day for this second exam — Wednesday, November 29th, at 11:00am — you will receive from me an e-mail containing identification questions similar to those on the midterm exam. Attached will be a Word document with the same questions, so that you can type the answers in whichever mode is safest and preferable to you.

II. QUOTATIONS. [Total 40 points = 8 questions, 5 points each.]

The same e-mail/document will contain bigger questions, mostly (but not all) quotation-based: combinations of identification and, more importantly, significance questions based on literary quotations, images, or any other class materials. You should plan to e-mail your completed exam back to me by 10:00am. You may work in coordinated cooperation with another member or two of the class, in which case only one of you should e-mail back to me with other name designated.

III. ESSAY. [Total 30 points.]

This essay is due by Wednesday, November 29th, by 3:00pm, as a separate Word document or pdf to a designated space on Canvas in Discussions. The essay should be an original and virtuoso piece of brilliance manifested in impressive eloquence, with facile reference to concepts or even specifics from the class materials (themes, character names, literary moments, even quotations or paraphrases), and amounting to a minimum of three (3) pages, double-spaced.

Become two characters from out of our mythological sources this semester (human, god, or other), and compose an email exchange between them. The communication should have a purpose (a motivation), should adopt styles appropriate to the characters, must have facts correct, and should demonstrate your nuanced grasp of the issues relevant to these characters. You should also include a couple of the mythological concepts encountered during this semester: such as etiology, deus ex machina, epic simile (?), dramatic irony, etc.

This fictional email exchange may just be one round, or it may be a back-and-forth chain of correspondence. (It’s not texting! That would be too telegraphic.) You will be demonstrating that you have understood, can reflect on, and are able to synthesize some source material.

So, be clever with this edutainment exercise. Weird combos are encouraged. Maybe Agamemnon writes to his dead daughter in the Underworld (awkward!). Or Sisyphus sends a job application inquiry to Odysseus. Maybe Medea asks Lycaon for advice on working past her anger issues. Or perhaps Narcissus writes love notes to himself. Or…?


BIG DAY: WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 29th, 11:00-12:00 noon.
ESSAY DUE: WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 29th, 3:00pm.

 

SAMPLE QUESTIONS

I. Identifications.

• Ulysses debated him for the right to inherit Achilles’ armor.

• “Though being considered clever I have suffered much.”

• He wrote Oedipus Rex.

• Why does Oedipus limp?

• He said, “You are eating your fellow workers.”

• Who killed Actaeon?

• She had serpents for hair and was killed by Perseus.

• Who is the Roman god of wine?

• He “stood in a pool, his chin level with the water, yet he was parched with thirst and found nothing to assuage it.”

• Another word approximately meaning metempsychosis.

• He was Emperor during Ovid’s time.

II. Short Answer.

1) “For when a man sees some woman fit for love and shaped according to his taste, he begins at once to lust after her in his heart; then the more he thinks about her the more he burns with love…. Presently he begins to think about the fashioning of the woman and to differentiate her limbs….”

What is the work described here, or who wrote it?
Identify four types of people who are excluded, according to the textbook.

2) “a Maeonian girl, / Who, she had heard, was boasting of her talent, / Calling it better even than Minerva’s / In spinning and weaving wool.”

Identify the author.
Who is this girl, and what happens to her?
Not solely with her boasting, how did she really offend the goddess?