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Assignment 3: Literary Analysis

  • Date Submitted: 10/14/2016 10:32 PM
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Assignment 3: Literary Analysis

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Assignment 3: Literary Analysis

The major writing assignment for this week is to compose a 600- to 800-word paper that analyzes how gender—masculinities and femininities—is portrayed in The Odyssey.
One way to approach this assignment is to consider how male characters think and speak about female characters (human and/or divine). How do the males treat female characters? How do the female characters treat the males? What patterns emerge? Based on those patterns, can you identify models of femininities and masculinities in The Odyssey? In other words, are particular behaviors, conditions, or roles associated with men but not women and vice versa?
Second, analyze at least two major male characters. What does this reveal? Now carefully consider two female figures (human and/or divine). How are they represented? Using the data that you gathered, describe what the ideal ancient Greek woman and man might have been like.
Next, decide if any of the female and male characters violate rules that apply to women’s and men’s behavior and, in so doing, offer the audience negative models of gender. Reflect on The Odyssey’s ending—who wins and loses and why? What do the ultimate fates of the female and male characters reveal about ancient Greeks’ ideas about gender?
Do not simply answer all these questions in order to develop your paper. These questions are designed to catalyze critical thinking, and you should use the writing process described in the online lectures to compose your essay.
As you prepare to write this week’s paper, make sure you understand how many things you are being asked to do.
Develop a Tentative Thesis
How is gender portrayed in The Odyssey?
With regard to gender, what do different elements of The Odyssey reveal about the culture and its important philosophies and values?


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