Michael Delahoyde, PhD

Professor of English

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. 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 necessary for preparation. My web notes might serve as a useful resource too.

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

DO THIS PART NOW! Answer the following question thoroughly and precisely, in about 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 mythological 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 2016 AD.

This essay is due as hard-copy on midterm day to accompany the other in-class components of the exam. You’ll be glad you did, by Zeus! Otherwise a dark mist will swirl over your eyes and you will go down to the House of Death.



Identify the character or thing referred to (underlined) in the following.

“He took the man, and put him into the garden … to dress it and to keep it.”


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


“The captive, trained in trickery, the stagecraft of Achaea….”


Athena’s father.



* * *

* * *

Answer completely but concisely the following.

“come, let’s go to bed, let’s lose ourselves in love!
Never has such a lust for goddess or mortal woman
flooded my pounding heart and overwhelmed me so.”

Who is speaking to whom?
What is Homer’s (or the Greeks’) attitude towards this kind of “love”?

“Now, at last, let us turn our thoughts to supper.
Even Niobe with her lustrous hair remembered food….”

Who is speaking to whom?
Why is this moment a surprise,
and why is it significant in terms of the uses of mythology?