Literature (Ramayana, Gilgamesh, Odyssey)

Description This essay will require a response to 2 questions, with a response of 2-3 paragraphs each question. You can choose from the topics below for each question, and you must address more than one of the epics we have studied. There is no introduction paragraph/thesis/closing paragraph needed. To clarify: if you address more than one work in one of your two questions, you can choose any of the topics for the other question. If you address Ramayana only in one of the essays, make sure your other essay addresses Gilgamesh or the Odyssey. 1. Compare and contrast Odysseus with Gilgamesh or Rama. Whom do you feel is more heroic and why? 2. All three of our heroes undertake a journey. What are some similarities and/or differences in at least two of these quests? What are the heroes searching for? 3. Compare and contrast at least two of the following female characters from two different epics: Shamhat, Ishtar, Siduri, Sita, Kaikeyi, Athena, Circe, Calypso, Sirens, Penelope. You might want to consider if these female characters are mainly subservient to the male characters or express a certain degree of power or agency in the epic. Do these female characters fall into one of the Madonna/Whore categories or challenge these stereotypes? 4. Evaluate the role of the gods in 2 of the epics. Which are most powerful? Which most involved in the life of the mortals (human beings)? How would you describe the gods: caring, cruel, fickle, noble, omnipotent? — you supply the term that works. What does the characterization of these gods reveal about the cultures of the people who worship them? The rubric is as follows: Demonstrates mastery of skill in the objective and critical understanding of the topic; Well-developed with many specific details; points are logically developed; Vivid vocabulary; effective transitions; sophisticated

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