Format: A minimum 600 words; no special formatting is necessary,
Assignment: For your final exam, I would like you to write about three to five common themes
found in the works we have read this semester.(we red The Odyessey, T he Iliad, Hamlet, Paradise lost, The Inferno, Beowulf, The Aneneid, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.)
Grade: 20% of total course grade.
clarity of language
unity of paragraphs
cogency of terms
relevance of textual references
You do not need to discuss every work we have read, but try to draw your references from as
many as possible. Part of your effort should be in the precise naming and definition of your
themes: if, for example, you discuss “revenge,” refine the meaning of that term from several
angles, e.g.: cultural, historical, literary, psychological, military, etc. Focus explicitly on the way
you define the thematic concepts, and then seek after points of comparison and contrast: so, in
terms of revenge, how is Beowulf’s violence against Grendel similar or different to Dante’s
“violence” toward the damned he encounters further down in the Inferno? It is entirely up to you,
however, as to which themes you choose, and how you define them.
In addition to discussing the works themselves, you might conclude with (or include within the
body of the essay) a consideration of the ways these texts bear relevance to the world and time
we live in now, and your own life.