ClSt / ComL 200:
First Paper Topic

Zeus, as king of the Olympian gods, is obviously an important -- arguably the most important -- figure in Greek mythology. But in individual tellings of specific myths, he may be a character of large or small importance, and he may be portrayed in a variety of different ways.

For your first paper, choose passages from two of the major readings that we have done in the course up to this point (Hesiod's Theogony and Works and Days, the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound, and the four Theban tragedies (Aeschylus' Seven against Thebes and and Sophocles' Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone -- though you will probably find less materially dealing with Zeus specifically in these four plays). Consider the portrayal of Zeus in each of the two passages that you choose, and write a comparativc analysis of the role he plays in each of the two works you choose. In framing your essay, you may want to consider (though you need not restrict yourself to) the following sample questions:

Your paper should be five pages in length (typed, double-spaced, 12-point type), i.e. about 1000 words. Do not use secondary sources: the paper is to be your own analysis, not the presentation of someone else's ideas. Do not quote extensively from the primary sources or summarize them at great length. Your work will be evaluated partly on its effectiveness at highlighting and analyzing important details rather than merely paraphrasing the general run of a narrative. You may ask for a consultation over a preliminary draft, but should not construe the advice you get as insuring good results: your grade depends on the quality of your work, ie. on how well you execute any advice you may get on how to approach the assignment.

The paper is due in sections at the beginning of class on February 15 or 16.