Michael Delahoyde, PhD

Professor of English


Washington State University


Your last significant obligation to this course will be an exam, questions and answers for which will concern only the works covered from after the midterm exam through the end of the semester: that’s the Greek plays and Metamorphoses, through Aesop, Sappho, the philosophers, New Testament and apocryphal materials, and any other topics during these last several weeks. Here is the plan for the last exam, the in-class portion of which will take place Wednesday, November 30th, 1:10 pm.


On the designated day for this second exam, you will rely on the breadth and depth of your absorption of the class materials in order to answer an assortment of questions, primarily identification based. This portion of the exam will be inflicted on you individually at the beginning of the class period on November 30th.

II. QUOTATIONS / GROUP WORK. [Total 50 points; 5 points each.]

For the remainder of that designated day’s class time, you may work individually or with a partner or two in order to answer mostly (but not all) quotation-based questions: combinations of identification and, more importantly, significance questions based on literary quotations, images, or any other class materials.

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

Do this part before you take the other portions on the last day! (I call it Part 3 because it’s the last portion I read and the culmination of your performance in the class, not because it’s an afterthought for you.) The essay should be an original and virtuoso piece of brilliance, with a unified perspective and fine critical thinking, manifested in impressive eloquence, with facile reference to specifics from the class materials (character names, literary moments, even quotations), and amounting to about three (3) pages, double-spaced.

  • One of the purposes of these ancient materials is to provide wisdom and guidance for our lives, inclusive of our inevitable crises and triumphs. Thus the Humanities can prompt important self-exploration and serve as compasses for our own human adventures, heroic or subtle.
    Why is it that you believe a particular character, any character, from the material of the second half of the semester, still has relevance today? How do that character’s attributes, pursuits, and challenges hold weight in our contemporary culture, and what wisdom does his or her story convey?
    Focus attention on demonstrating your knowledge of the character, his or her mythological context, and the abstract application of the wisdom inherent in the original text.




He was Emperor during Ovid’s time.

“They died from a disease they caught from their father.”

“He was the first to say that animal food should not be eaten.”

“I have no instinct for power, no hunger for it either.
It isn’t royal power I want, but its advantages.”


“Often previously / Though being considered clever I have suffered much. / A person of sense ought never to have his children / Brought up to be more clever than the average.”

Name the character speaking and the author.
How has this character’s cleverness brought about his or her own suffering?