Take Home Quiz: EXPLICATION


DUE ****TYPED**** in Class Thursday, Jan 27

 

Explicate the following passage.  Your essay should contain the following information:

Identify the work it's from, the author, the rough time period (50% of the grade).  Explain what is it saying, how does it fit in with the immediate context, how does it contribute meaning to the work as a whole?  You might want to mention the characters involved and give some basic summary, but avoid lengthy or unnecessary summary.  Your audience is your fellow students; that is, people who have done the same reading you have done.  Don’t retell a story they already know; just remind them of it.  Finally – what importance does it have for your general study of myth?  Why does the ancient author tell us this?  Why does this ancient author choose the specific details he chooses?  What is the particular significance of this passage?

 

All papers should answer these questions.  Outstanding papers will answer all of these questions in smooth, concise, polished prose, with additional quotations where necessary (which will be referenced with line numbers).

 

All papers will begin with a clear, unambiguous thesis statement (here are some good examples from last year), which makes a clear argument which will be defended in the paper.

 

Type your essay, no more than a single page double spaced, and hand it in at the beginning of class on Thursday, Jan 27.

 

PASSAGE:

 

“Hillbillies and bellies, poor excuse for shepherds:

We know how to tell many believable lies,

But also, when we want to, how to speak the plain truth.”

So spoke the daughters of great Zeus, mincing their words.

And they gave me a staff, a branch of good sappy laurel,

Plucking it off, spectacular.  And they breathed into me

A voice divine, so I might celebrate past and future.

And they told me to hymn the generation of the eternal gods,

But always to sing of themselves, the Muses, first and last.