Norton Anthology Assignment

                         Writing Assignment.

Assignment and Purpose:

This first writing task consists of five questions regarding the assigned readings for the course. It will help you complete the optional written assignment (a research paper on the usefulness of primary sources).


After reading the original texts in the Norton Anthology, answer the questions in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • Each response should be at least 200 words.
  • Your arguments must be justified and explained using direct quotations and/or examples from the text.
  • Use double spacing and MLA formatting.

Evaluation guidelines:

The content of your responses will be graded in terms of the accuracy, completeness and

relevance of the ideas expressed. The form of your answers will be evaluated in terms of clarity, organization, correct mechanics, and legibility.

Excellent (A grade) papers will display the following characteristics:

  • For each answer, a topic sentence that clearly states your position on the question
  • At least one paragraph that supports the topic sentence effectively
  • Fluidly integrated in-text citations for both direct quotations and paraphrases
  • Carefully crafted sentences in standard academic English
  • An accurate works cited list and page formatting in MLA style at the end of each question







Question 1. The Epic of Gilgamesh.


Gilgamesh has the earliest version of the flood story that appears later in the Old Testament (Genesis 6-9). Discuss how each version has very different emphases and draws a different moral.

Question 2. Homer’s The Iliad and the Aristotelian concept of citizenship.


Aristotle said that the man who is incapable of working in common, or who in his self-sufficiency has not need of others, is no part of the community, like a beast or a god. Discuss the figure of Achilles in the light of this statement.

Question 3. Homer’s The Odyssey and “Job” in The Hebrew Bible.


Compare Odysseus and Athena’s relationship with that of Job and God. What does this suggest about the religious attitudes of the Hebrews and the Greeks?

Question 4. Plato. The Apology of Socrates.


According to Socrates, what accusations have been levied against him, and why? What does his refutations reveal about his fundamental intellectual beliefs and methods? (Compare them to Homeric’s thought through action processes).

Question 5. Virgil. The Aeneid.


Compare the reasons that Aeneas (Book VI) visits the Underworld and what he experiences there with Odysseus, Gilgamesh’s visit to Utnapishtim (and if you can, but that’s optional, Dante’s in The Divine Comedy).

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