STUDYING FOR THE MIDTERM
The Midterm is scheduled to be held on Friday of the eighth week of the class (subject to change in the case of unforeseen events). You will not need a scan-tron sheet.
You should pay attention to whatever the Instructor wrote on the board during lectures in class (these will be in your personal notes), and you should note more carefully items in the on-line Course Materials which are in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, as being more important than other things.
The pages on "Zeus and His Liaisons"
, "More Notes: Creation"
, "Names Easily Confused"
, and "The Muses"
are especially important.
Format of the exam:
Page 1 will look like a quiz, short answers, match-column-a-with-column-b, True/False, etc.
Page 2 will be three essay questions, from which you will pick ONE to write about. You should aim to do two things at the same time: (1) list major ideas which address the topic of the essay question; (2) give examples from Greek myth which illustrate each of the major ideas (there can be several examples for each major idea, of course); try to balance the number of ideas and the number of illustrations. Having one major idea, and seven illustrations is not as good as having seven major ideas and one illustration each. DO NOT narrate the stories from Greek myth, except for the part that is relevant to your major idea. Your essay should demonstrate the relevance of a myth-example to the idea which you are discussing.
This would be a good time to get to one or more of the on-line sites you discovered in the internet exercise (Assignment #1), to get you up to speed on the major characters and story-lines.
You may also wish to use the Textbook site, where there are practice quizzes and study sheets:
The following are some suggestions for thinking about and organizing the material that may appear on the exam(s). This is NOT a collection of `Study Questions' nor the potential `essay question(s)' for the exam. The Midterm and Final will contain both short questions (in the form of words and names to identify, fill-in-the blanks, T-F, etc.) and essay questions. As always, there will be choices offered in each section of the exam.
TYPES OF MYTH:
(not a complete list)
Why do we do it this way? Why do we call it what we do? How did something come into existence or use?
Why is the laurel tree called daphne? Why is the hyacinth called
Why was Oedipus called `Lame Foot'?
Why is there a chariot race at Olympia? (Pelops story)
Why is there a sacred field at Eleusis? (Demeter story)
Year-king tales (Gilgamesh, Adonis, Hippolytus, Attis, Pelops)
Magical islands (Ogygia, Calypso, Islands of the Hesperides, Island of the Sun)
(5) Goddesses vs. Gods
Indo-European invasions of Minoan cult-centers (priestesses)
Sacred marriages (hieros gamos)
Things that come in threes (Dumezil: three functions)
Hostilities between women & men (Hera & Zeus' children; Aphrodite
and Hephaestus; Artemis & Hippolytus)
(6) FATAL Attractions
Narcissism (the Narcissus myth, and others)
Looking on `the forbidden' (Aphrodite, Actaeon)
Challenging the gods at their own specialties (Apollo and Marsyas, Athena and Arachne, Aphrodite and Adonis)
Origins of towns (Cadmus & Spartoi, Abderus, Romulus and Remus)
Origins of gods (Hesiodic version, Homeric version, Orphic version, Sumerian Version)
Origins of humans (Spartoi, Prometheus, Pandora, Deucalion and Pyrrha and the Flood)
(8) MYTHS OF PUBLIC ORDER
Zeus' deposition of Kronos (a tyrant tale)
Zeus' children and wives (Themis, Muses, Fates: law, culture, cosmic order)
Punishment of wrongdoers (Lycaon, Lynkeus, Sisyphus, Ixion; role of DIKE, Tartarus)
SOME GENERAL QUESTIONS to think about:
- (a) How `just' is the divine/human world envisioned by Greek myth? How `just' is Zeus?
- (b) How much room does an individual man have in which he can actually do `heroic deeds'? Is everything fated? Do the gods constantly hinder humans, and how?
- (c) What is the nature of the gods? What is the nature of heroes? What is the nature of humankind?
- (d) What is the purpose (if any) of `creation'? Does humanity have a purpose for existing?
- (e) What is the character of the gods? Heroes? How much of Greek myth has to do with `morality'? What are the standards of behavior for gods and for humans?
- (f) How does the belief in the `afterlife' according to Greek mythological views affect what the
Greeks think about such concepts as `sin', `guilt', `responsibility', crime-and-punishment, the purpose of human conduct?
© JOHN P. ADAMS 7/22/1996, 8/31/2002, 08/03/2006, 01/13/2009