This essay should be a 500-750 word essay focusing on the assigned readings from Weeks 2, 3, and 4. It is due by 11:55 pm ET on Sunday of Week 4.
· This should be a close reading essay, and should use as evidence primarily passages from the story or stories that you discuss. You may not use ANY outside sources without the instructor’s approval.
· The essay should be in MLA essay format (see the sample essay here) and should have the student/teacher cover letter (which should answer these questions) as the first page. A works cited entry and in-text citations for each text discussed are required.
The essay should be focused on making a debatable claim about the work(s) in question; informational essays or essays consisting of summary are not appropriate. The claim should be supported with discussion of specific passages from the text(s) on which the essay is focused. The essay grading rubric can be found here.
Choose 1 of the following topics, and write a thesis-driven essay in response to that topic:
· Duty in Different Cultures: some of our readings in Weeks 2, 3, and 4 show a concern for duty and responsibility. We discussed this in relation to The Sakuntala, but not The Iliad or the Week 4 folktales. Choose one character from The Iliad or from 1 of the folktales, and make a claim about that character and duty. Questions to consider: how does duty come up in relation to that character, and how does this affect the character’s role in the story?
· Fate and Karma: Fate and Karma are 2 major cultural ideas that came up in these first two weeks. Are these 2 concepts mutually exclusive? Can we have both fate and karma in a story, or must we have only 1 or the other? Use passages from either The Iliad OR The Sakuntala as support.
· The Role of the Supernatural: The works that we read in these three weeks have elements that take us beyond realism; in The Iliad, there is the intervention of the gods, and in The Sakuntala and the folktales, a number of supernatural elements, from curses to flights to the heavens to talking animals, feature in the stories. Compare 2 works from Weeks 2-4 (The Iliad and The Sakuntala, OR The Iliad and 1 folktale, OR The Sakuntala and 1 folktale:, is this use of the supernatural in these 2 works more similar or more different? Why, and how does that make two stories more similar or more different?
· I Need a Hero! In our discussion of these works, we have talked a bit about how they all reflect elements of their cultures, particularly through the way that heroes are depicted. Choose 1 story (The Iliad, The Sakuntala, 1 Nigerian tale, OR 1 Eastern tale) and make a claim about what this tale shows us about heroes in this culture. Discuss no more than 2 characters from your chosen story in order to support your claim.
Make your own topic: create your own critical question to answer in your essay. If you choose this topic you must contact the instructor for approval by Thursday of Week 4. Essay submissions with unapproved topics will be returned.