Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Dear Mythology Kids,

STOP MISSING CLASS! I love your guts, but I am going to "call you out!" If you are ill, then by all means stay at home, but many of you are not getting up in time for school, so you are missing first period, or you are going out for lunch, and failing to watch the clock. ARRIVE ON TIME, as it is SO RUDE when you are LATE! FIGURE IT OUT, my young friends. I don't have the time to repeat myself, even though I do that frequently in class. Seriously, I don't have an extra 80 minutes to offer you. VISIT WITH ANOTHER STUDENT IN CLAS, in order to find out what you missed! CHANGE YOURSELVES and if you need help then contact a psychologist! I am happy to act as your "psychologist!"

1. Each student received a copy of "The Review for The Iliad Exam." This details each section that will appear on the exam. PLEASE stop by my room to collect a copy of it! For some reason it isn't loading here. Your exam is scheduled for TUESDAY and THURSDAY of next week.

2. In addition, each student received TWO ASSIGNMENTS! One entitled "Dateline Troy" and another entitled "Character Monologue." Students were asked to take both home, and make a decision as to which ONE they want to complete! THIS NEEDS TO OCCUR ON FRIDAY, so both assignments need to be read prior to you returning to class. I have included a copy of the "Monologue" assignment below. The "Dateline Troy" assignment is not copying....GRRR! You must come by my room to collect a copy of the assignment!

3. We completed Agamemnon, Iphigenia, Clytemnestra, and Cassandra!

Explanation: The Iliad represents a literary work full of irony. In The Iliad, Homer uses dramatic irony particularly for the purpose of causing the reader to become sympathetic toward the characters. Your assignment involves writing a monologue for one of the Iliad's characters. Your piece needs to contain elements of irony associated with The Iliad and with mythological characters in general. Please see the following example.

            Welcome to my party, everyone, I am so thrilled that you could attend. I must remind you that our theme for this evening is "See everything, believe nothing." Allow me to remind you of the following.......There is danger looming ahead. Athena, are you listening? I can see our bleak future. I am doomed to know all the catastrophes that will befall us; yet, no one believes me. Therefore, hark, Paris, Prince of Troy. Are you daft, brother? Do not drink that apple punch; it smells oddly like death. You would be far from the fairest after tasting that disgusting and damaging drink Love will not even be able to set you free from your pain. I would not even have a piece of cake. Why, you ask? Can you not see the "cake server?" She's holding an axe, standing in a bath tub, holding an umbrella with holes in it. That vision makes no sense. Can you not see the signs of doom surrounding us? Wait...Paris, did you invite everyone on my guest list? Doing so is in accordance with Discord. We wouldn't want to offend anyone. Look there, Hades is the Lord of the Dead, yet he's the life of the party. Sisyphus refuses to rock and roll. Prometheus the titan gave us the gift of fire, but he's banned smoking. Honestly, I would have taken the gift of fire over truth. Ares has made peace with the fact that his brother, Apollo, isn't too bright. Narcissus just broke up with himself. Dionysus is sober and Icarus is high. Atlas is on top of the world. Zeus knows everything except how to spell the word omniscient, and Thor---What is Thor doing here? I don't think he was on the guest list. Midas has the golden touch, but thanks to Aphrodite he was a touch of herpes. Medusa was just stoned. Antigone is agreeable, and her father, Oedipus, brought a date that looks old enough to be his mother. And what do all these foreboding signs forebode? We are all doomed to die. Wait, a gift for me, from Odysseus. You really shouldn't have. What is...oh my...I love it...a horse. How did you know? Back to our theme....The Greeks are preparing to attack. They will lay siege to our city and destroy everyone within these walls. Why do you mock me? Ajax, your napkin is on the floor. You clearly need to do a much better job of cleaning up after yourself. I refuse to relent. What do you mean the party is over? We've only been celebrating for ten years.

1. The monologue must "voice the thoughts" of a character from The Iliad.
2. The piece must reference or allude to a minimum of four mortal character from The Iliad.   
3. The piece needs to reference of allude to a minimum of two gods associated with the poem.
4. The monologue needs to reference a minimum of six mythological characters NOT associated with the epic poem.
5. A minimum of six aspects of irony and/or puns must also be incorporated into your monologue. You will select two of the six aspects and explain why each are ironic.
6. Please use MLA format for your monologue (double space).
7. Identification of two requirements for numbers 2-5 need to appear below your monologue.  You select the required aspects that you will justify. Please single space  your explanations. Please note the following examples:

The piece must reference or allude to a minimum of four mortal characters from The Iliad 
1. Paris is mentioned in association with choosing the "rotten" apple. This reference indicates the destruction that Paris causes due to selecting Aphrodite as the "fairest." It also indicates the havoc that Paris will cause himself due to giving the apple to Aphrodite. His demise occurs when he is hit with a hydra dipped arrow. His death is a slow and painful one, as his first wife, Oenone, had the ability to heal Paris of his wounds, but she refused to assist him due to his abandonment of her for Helen.
 2. Clytemnestra

The piece needs to reference or allude to a minimum of two gods associated with the poem.
1. Athena is alluded to and reference in the line, "There is danger looming ahead. Athena, are you listening?" The word looming indicates her connection to weaving. It is also a pun in the sense that she "weaves" much of the danger imposed upon the characters within The Iliad. For example, she disguises herself as Deiphobus, Hector's brother, during his battle with Achilles. This clearly leads to his death.
2. Eris, the goddess of contention and discord is alluded to in the line, "Paris, did you invite everyone on my guest list? Doing so is an accordance with Discord" This line indicates that Eris/Discordia felt offended that she was not invited to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, which, of course, cuased the vents that lead up to the Trojan War.

The monologue must reference or allude to a minimum of six mythological characters NOT associated with the poem.
1. The line, "Sisyphus is ready to rock and roll," clearly references the king from Corinth who was placed in the underworld due to his inappropriate sexual behavior. He is punished with pushing a boulder up a hill, always to have it come crashing down on him. The boulder represents his lack of ability to control his sexual desires.
2. The line, "Oedipus brought a date that is old enough to be his mother." is quite funny because Oedipus unknowingly killed his father and actually married his mother. Oedipus was destined to kill his father and marry his mother, so his parents decided to abandon him, in the hopes that he would die from the elements. He was saved by a shepherd, and adopted by the king of Corinth, Polybus. He had a dream where he killed his father. Not realizing that Polybus was not his actual father, he leaves Corinth, and heads for Thebes, the location of his birth. He meets a man on the highway that accosts him. Oedipus in turn killed the man in order to protect himself. He does not realize that his particular individual was in actuality his father. When he arrives at Thebes, the city is besieged by a monster known as the Sphinx, who will not allow any traveler to enter the city unless her riddled his answered correctly. Oedipus solves the puzzle, and the monster kills herself. For this, the people reward Oedipus their queen and he accepts their "gift." He does not realize that he has just married his mother.

1.Please select TWO essays; one from the ODD numbers and one from the EVEN numbers for the writing portion of your exam.
2. Each question requires TEXTUAL SUPPORT. You will need to use your handouts and /or your book. Those of you that have your own copy of the Iliad may use it!
3. Please structure your response using MLA format!
4. I am not requiring a five paragraph essay, but each response must be a well organized structured paragraph. You must have TWO concrete details in each paragraph, and commentary to support those details. Prove to me, through writing, that you can fully explain and justify your chosen questions.

  1.  What is the role of women in The Iliad? Does the poem contain any strong female characters, or do the acts and deeds of men dominate the work? Support your points with textual support. 
  2. If one had to identify the moral of The Iliad, what would if be and why? Please explain using specific examples of characters and lessons they went through and learned.
  3. Explain the origins (notice origins is plural) of Achilles' anger? Support your points with textual support.
  4. Discuss the significance of hubris within The Iliad. Pride is the source of many conflicts within the epic. Support your points with textual support.
  5. "The gods' constant interference in the lives of the mortals seems to cast them in the role of malicious puppeteers, while reducing Homer's heroes to mere pawns." Discuss the above quote in relationship to the role the gods play in the epic poem. Include examples to support your points.
  6. Dramatic Irony acts as an important literary tool within The Iliad. Identify TWO aspects associated with irony, and then discuss how irony adds to the epics plot-line.
  7. How is respect and disrespect represented as crucial to characters in The Iliad? Support your points with textual support.
  8. Is it fair to describe The Iliad as an anti-war work? Support your response with specific examples.