ENG 201 Exam 1
-Please choose 8 of the following 10 questions to answer. Each question is worth a total of 12.5 points. You may choose to answer more than 8 if you prefer. If you do so, you will receive up to 12.5 points per question for each correct answer, not to exceed 100 total points. (I.e. If you answer 9 questions but 2 questions are only partially right, you might receive 6 points for those two questions giving you a total of 100 points) In other words, it can’t hurt you to do more than the required 8.
-Each answer should use the following formula (Assertion, Evidence, Commentary). -First, make an assertion (a statement in your own words that posits the point you want to make). This can be 1-2 sentences. -Then, cite from the text a quote that supports your assertion. Quotes must have proper MLA in-text citations which is author’s last name and page number. Ex. “Stand up, children” (Sophocles 711). If author is unknown use the title of the text; i.e.. (Gilgamesh 105). -Finally, justify the quote by explaining in your own words how it supports the assertion. This should be at least two sentences.
Here is an example of what an answer might look like if the question were as follows:
Example Question: As is common in many ancient epics, women play an extremely important role in the development of plot and in shaping the actions of the male characters. Give one example of an important female role in The Epic of Gilgamesh.
Example Answer: Although a minor character in the story, the prostitute Shamhat plays a very important role in the epic tale. They ask her to give of herself to tame the wild beast Enkidu and she does so without hesitation. The hunter take Shamhat to Enkidu and tells her to “open your embrace, open your embrace, let him take your charms!” (Gilgamesh 103). By doing so, she tames Enkidu. As a result, the wild beasts no longer welcome him and he must then turn to Gilgamesh as a friend. Thus, Shamhat’s actions set-up the action for the rest of the epic tale.
This was just a sample question. The Actual 10 questions from which you can choose begin on the next page!
ENG 201 Exam 1
1. The gods in The Epic of Gilgamesh are, as is often the case in ancient literatures, immortal creatures but with fickle minds and conflicting wills. Give an example that exhibit this behavior of the Gods.
2. After all of the great feats that Gilgamesh accomplishes, the seeming banality of Utanapishtim’s challenge to stay awake for six days and seven nights severs as an important revelation of the limits of human nature. Explain why this task shows the limits of mortality and how his failure of this task leads Gilgamesh to the final resolution of finding mortality through writing down his story.
3. Odysseus, identified as a “cunning hero” in the first line and constantly described as having a “teeming brain”, must learn how to temper his wit and craftiness with the guidance of prudence over the course of his journey. Give an example of Odysseus’ cunning wit.
4. In his book The Art of the Commonplace, Wendell Berry describes “The Odyssey’s understanding of marriage as the vital link that joins the human community and the earth” (122). Explain how The Odyssey represents the power of the marriage bond between Penelope and Odysseus.
5. Aristotle claims that the best plots feature recognition and reversal that occurs close together and even simultaneously. Give one example of recognition and reversal occurring in Oedipus the King.
6. Oedipus’s greatest flaw is also his greatest strength. He exhibits hubris, or excessive pride. Explain through the text how this is his flaw and his strength. You will need to include two citations for this one in order to show how it is both a flaw and a strength.
7. The action scapegoats Oedipus for the crime of being born. The change in fortune from best to worst, begs the question, if it could happen to him, could it happen to anyone? Explain how the actual events of the story are beyond Oedipus’s control and represent a fate to which anyone could fall prey.
8. One of the primary manners in which repetition is employed in the Classic of Poetry is in relation to agricultural matters, and in part this represents the repetitive nature of the agrarian cycle. Give an example from Classic that show this repetition of nature.
ENG 201 Exam 1
9. Throughout Analects, Confucius makes a distinction between wisdom and goodness, and this distinction relates to the difficult question of whether his concept of ritual is simply an external set of social norms or whether it is an internal property developed or possessed by humans. List one “Analect” that exhibits this notion of wisdom versus goodness and explain how it does so.
10. Throughout Analects, Confucius suggests that moral action is proper to human beings, and that to be immoral is to be barbaric, inhuman, and animalistic. List at least one example of this and explain.
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