Myth FALL 2009 Due Monday, Nov 2
Typed Response 4:
Choose one of the following passages to explicate. Type the passage at the head of your paper, and give the PAGE number in the textbook which it comes from.
Now, explicate the passage, as we have done before; that is:
Identify the work it's from, the author, the rough time period. 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? 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?
All papers should answer all of 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).
He saw what was hidden, he
disclosed the undisclosed.
He brought back a story of times before the flood
He went on a long journey. He was wearied, he rested.
Everything he did he engraved on a monument made of stone.
was lessened, he could not run so fast.
Yet he had acquired discernment, was wiser.
Don't attempt to instruct me
on death, O learned Odysseus!
Better to be a peon on some poor landholder's acres,
a man who is landless and hungry himself,
than here to be ruler of all these shriveled-up dead.
When again you set out for
home, do not leave me unwept and unburied,
abandoned, hateful to the gods. But lay me to rest with my weapons,
with everything that is mine, in a grave on the coast of the sea,
the tomb of a poor hapless man, a reminder of those who come after.
Grant me that favor, and this: mount on my tomb the same oar
that I swung in the land of the living, seated alongside my fellows.
Here is the traitor who
peddled his country and set up a tyrant,
who for a bribe would establish bad laws and abolish the good;
here the incestuous man who corrupted the bed of his daughter—
darers of horrible crimes, who enjoyed the fruit of their daring.
If I had a hundred mouths, I could not exhaust their offences,
nor could I even begin to expound the torments they suffer.