1) Read Lucian’s Dialogues of the sea gods 2 and Euripides’ Cyclops as “supplements” to the story of Odysseus and Polyphemus which you read this week in Rhapsody 9 (i.e., The Odyssey Chapter 9).
2) In 700-800 words, explore the qualities/characteristics of the heroes, monsters, and gods in these three versions of the story of Odysseus and Polyphemus.
Questions to get you thinking (do not organize your paper around “answering” them all): How heroic is Odysseus? Is there a good guy in these three versions? How does the god Poseidon’s relationship to Polyphemus play into the tale? Why do we have a story from the revered piece of epic literature being used by a satirist and a playwright in a satyr play? What part might the folk tale element play in “freeing” this myth from reverential treatment? Again, those are just ideas to get you thinking: make your argument your own (an argument = claims with textual proof and inferences).
To keep you from the trap of purely personal opinions, you need to find 2-3 additional sources to support your analysis. These must be scholarly sources, not a random person tweeting from their basement. Please email if you are unsure if your source “counts.” If you are discussing a piece of art, song, etc. include in a footnote how I can access the piece. Please do not forget all of the wonderful resources available online through the MSU Library.
This is a formal paper, and as such there are certain minimum requirements of format and style.
• The paper is to be double-spaced, 12 pt. font, with one-inch margins on all sides, and no extra space after paragraphs.
• Use tab indentation, not double spacing between paragraphs.
• Your paper title, your name, the course number and name (GNHU 285:
Mythology), and the date should appear on the cover page only.
• Number the pages in the upper right-hand corner.
• Do not use silly fonts; Times New Roman or Calibri are good choices.
• Check that the font and font size are consistent throughout (including headers,
title page, bibliography, quotations, etc.)
• You need citations and a bibliography page with full Chicago or MLA citations—I
do not care which citation style you choose, but be consistent throughout the paper. Do not forget to cite the main work you read to analyze (i.e. the text of Apuleius or Sophocles).
• The paper should be as free as possible from mechanical and grammatical errors.
• Do not use contractions!
(Yes, these matters can and will affect your grade.)
Nota Bene: word count does NOT include title page, bibliography, header, footnotes, appendices. . .
The tone of your paper should be fairly formal, but it should also reveal the presence of a creative and interesting mind at work. The two extremes that you should avoid are the overly chatty paper that sounds like a conversation or a personal letter addressed to your teacher, and the dry-as-a-bone “lab report” paper, which is signaled by extensive use of the passive voice and the use of phrases such as “in the opinion of the present author.”
As you begin the essay, do not waste time praising the author or the question: “One of the most important questions ever to face humanity is the function of the simile in Homer’s magnificent epic poem, the Iliad”. Likewise, do not waste time by slowly funneling in to the actual question with irrelevant background (“Since the dawn of time,”). Get to the point immediately; 700-800 words is not that long for proper analysis.
The introductory paragraph should leave me with a very clear idea of where the paper is headed. The best way to do this is to provide a thesis statement. Every paragraph should contribute a logical step toward proving your argument. The conclusion of your paper should not merely summarize the paper. Rather, it should persuade the reader that you have discovered and discussed something significant.
In constructing your argument, each paragraph should make a point (claim), give evidence supporting your point, and then make clear why that evidence supports the point you are making. It is easy to forget that last step, but it is an important one.
Submit your paper on Canvas as a doc or docx file.
A direct quotation from the syllabus:
UNLESS THE STUDENT PROVIDES WRITTEN DOCUMENTATION THAT JUSTIFIES AN EXTENSION, LATE PAPERS WILL RECEIVE NO MORE THAN A GRADE OF C AND WILL NOT BE ELIGIBLE FOR A REWRITE.
Avoiding academic dishonesty. When you read any of the thousands of books and articles to be found in a library or in an academic database, let alone the internet, you must give proper credit in your paper and supply a properly formatted or “bibliography” page. Non-refereed materials from the web are unacceptable sources for college-level work, meaning that you should not cite them in the same way you would a scholar in support of an argument. Still, if you read it you need to include it in your bibliography. As a result, your bibliography will most likely include more than the bare minimum of five items (the original pieces, aka the primary resources, and the minimum of two scholarly sources).
A reminder (quoted directly from the class syllabus):
PLAGIARISM: Whenever you use more than four words taken from an author other than yourself, you must indicate so by placing the phrase between quotation marks and indicating the source with page number either in a footnote (Chicago Style) or in parentheses following the text
cited (MLA Style). Then you should include the full citation in your bibliography. All material used in OR read for the writing assignment MUST be listed in your bibliography, whether primary source, secondary source, website, etc. Failure to follow these steps constitutes plagiarism and is grounds for an F on the assignment.
Additional comments/help with citations. You should not be using any long (three lines or more) quotations in this paper (cite line numbers instead). The following are good ways to cite the primary source material:
• Parenthetical reference only: Give precise references in parentheses within the body of the paper when you mention an event or other factual information (Odyssey 3.145-148).
• Short quotation with parenthetical reference: If you need to quote something, integrate the quotation seamlessly into the structure of your sentences. Here is an example: Poetic images are not made but are “discovered in Nature” (Nicolson, 18). Please note that the parenthetical reference appears outside the quotation marks but before the next punctuation mark. Remember that quotations, like the data in a lab report, are part of your argument. They should never be used as decoration or “filler.”
Montclair State has a writing center. Please take advantage of their resources: