Mythology: Exam 1

Washington State University


I. IDENTIFICATIONS. [Total 26 points.]

You know; in what work do we read that God created light? Who is “the great tactician”? That kind of very brief question. This portion of the midterm exam will be inflicted individually and intracerebrally during the scheduled class period: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23rd. So put on your thinking caps and press the “fry” button.

II. QUOTATIONS. [Total 50 points; 5 points each.]

A combination of identification and, more importantly, significance questions will follow quotations from the material of the first half of the semester, extracted for their representativeness of our discussions over the key points these weeks. This is not trivial pursuit. If you read the works and paid attention in class, only a close review of notes is needed for preparation. My web notes could serve as useful resources too.

III. TAKE-HOME ESSAY. [Total 24 points.]

Due when you walk into class for the in-class portion of the exam, on FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23rd, is a hardcopy of this take-home essay. Answer the following question thoroughly and precisely, in at least three (3) pages, double-spaced. The essay should be a virtuoso piece of brilliance manifested in impressive eloquence, with facile reference to specifics from the texts.

  • What is the most important new message or realization you have received from the mythological materials at any time during the first weeks of the semester? This should be something authentic, not a cheesy cliché or reconfirmation of a predisposed idea. Explain how the message is cleverly conveyed in its source (or in more than one source), and detail its importance to you and/or to life on this planet in 2018 AD.

No late essays will be accepted, nor is it my responsibility to print out whatever you think you can phone in at your convenience. A dark mist will swirl over your eyes and you will go down to the House of Death.
For more advice on writing a sterling essay and avoiding common pitfalls, see here: Essay Advice.

Sample Review Questions

I. Identifications.

Athena’s father.

“Cronus’ son has trapped me in madness,
blinding ruin [atê]….”

One of the two characters involved in the teichoskopia.

“the great tactician”

“she was not there;
She alone failed her friends, her child, her husband.”

The Greek god of wine.

He said, “Let there be light.”

This goddess was chosen “fairest” by a young shepherd.

“[She had] lips by a god’s command
Never to be believed or heeded by the Trojans.”

“He flew all over the earth … and his wings began to flap and strike the ground, and wherever they struck the earth there was a valley, and where they turned up again there was a mountain.”

“Take me alive. I’ll ransom myself!…
Father would give you anything.”

II. Quotations.

1) “If only strife could die from the lives of gods and men
         and anger that drives the sanest man to flare in outrage … just like the anger
         Agamemnon king of men has roused within me now …
         Let bygones be bygones. Done is done.
         Despite my anguish I will beat it down.”

         Identify the author and the speaker.
         What would you say is happening here to this character psychologically?

2) “This famous [tableau] emphasizes the fact that, unlike Achilles, [this hero] is securely set in a continuity of generations….”

         Describe this key scene briefly (including mention of at least two characters by name) and identify the poet who creates it.
         Why is this scene symbolically valuable to its original audience?