Humanities 101: Exam 1

Washington State University


I. IDENTIFICATIONS. [Total 24 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: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5th, 1:10 pm. 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 26 points.]

DO THIS PART NOW! 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 ancient world 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 2016 AD.

This essay is due on midterm day to accompany the other in-class components of the exam. You’ll be glad you did, by Zeus! Otherwisea 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.

“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.”

II. Quotations.

1) “A guest remembers
         A host’s hospitality for as long as he lives.”

         Identify the author.
         How does this principle apply — positively or negatively — in at least three instances in the work?

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?