Summarize the myth, the conflict that inspires revenge, and the ultimate consequences of the conflict. Discuss the cultural value of vengeance that the ancients wish us to understand.


Instead of writing an essay about a single myth and selecting quotes from the reading, you will write about two (2) of the quotes below.

Reflect on the cultural values and universal lessons found in the myths selected for this unit. Choose one of the options below and write a short essay.


Write 1½ to 3 pages of content (400 words minimum).

Use current MLA format for the heading on the first page and for in-text citations.

Use proper sentence and essay structure.

Use our textbook, Donna Rosenberg’s World Mythology: An Anthology of the Great

Myths and Epics.

If you use additional sources, include a works cited page at the end, and provide in- text citations for all borrowed information and quoted wording.

If a quote comes from the myth itself, cite the title of the myth, as illustrated on the final page of these instructions.

Do either Option A or Option B. Do not do both.

Option A: Short Essay Topics

Choose one of the topics below to write a short essay (3-5 paragraphs) exploring one or more of the myths from Unit 2. Be sure to begin the essay with cultural background and include at least two significant direct quotes from the reading.

Topic 1

Romulus and Remus are said to set the standard of Roman behavior, Achilles is among the greatest of the Greek warriors, and Great Goddesses, like devoted mothers everywhere, can be fiercely protective of their children. When a wrong is committed against oneself or one’s family and friends, the urge for vengeance can be powerful, whether one is mortal or

divine, but the appropriate means of correcting the wrong are usually determined by cultural norms and laws. Select a character (or characters) from a myth or epic in Unit 2 who is compelled to seek revenge. Identify the origins of the myth by telling where and when it comes from. Describe the culture by explaining how the people lived and what

they valued.

Then summarize the myth, the conflict that inspires revenge, and the ultimate consequences of the conflict. Discuss the cultural value of vengeance that the ancients wish us to understand. Finally, conclude if the ancient view of the outcomes from vengeance is applicable to the outcomes of acts of vengeance today. Why or why not?

Topic 2

A hero’s journey is comprised of many steps: associating with deities (i.e., gods and goddesses), heeding a call to adventure, wielding a special weapon, receiving aid from a mentor and/or deity, descending into the Underworld, and returning to the everyday world, just to name a few. Select one character from Unit 2 that could be interpreted as a hero or heroine. Identify the origins of the myth by telling where and when it comes from.

As you summarize the myth or epic, chart the hero’s journey. Identify at least five ways in which the character fits the formal definition of the classical hero archetype. Conclude if the character is or is not worthy of the title of hero within his own culture, and then, further conclude if that character would qualify as a hero by today’s standards. Achilles from The Iliad and Heracles are both excellent examples of classical heroes.

Option B: Selected Quotes

Instead of writing an essay about a single myth and selecting quotes from the reading, you will write about two (2) of the quotes below.

For each, identify the origins of the myth, including the location and culture of the people who believed it. Briefly summarize the myth from which the quotation has been taken.

Then introduce the quotation by describing the scene and identifying the speaker(s) if dialogue is quoted. Tell what led up to this moment and explain why it is important. Be sure to include parenthetical documentation; you may use the citations that are provided.

Finally, address the questions thoughtfully and in complete sentences. Remember, you need to choose two of the following:

“Without considering whether the baby was female or male, Cronus took the baby lovingly from his wife, opened his gigantic mouth, and swallowed the infant in one gulp. ‘Now,’ he thought with satisfaction, ‘I have cheated the Fates of their prophecy and my child of his throne!’” (“The Creation of the Titans and the Gods” 9). What is the prophecy? What do Cronus’ actions tell us about power?

“We have torn into the grain-giving earth, searching for the riches she has hidden within her. . . . If we do not change our ways, our behavior will destroy us” (Hesiod 14). “The Ages of Man” describes the deterioration of the earth and humanity. How realistic is this myth? Is it relevant to modern life?

“Tell Zeus that I will set foot upon fragrant Olympus in order to talk with him, but I will not permit any seeds to sprout upon the earth until I have seen my beautiful child” (“Demeter and Persephone” 18). Explain how Demeter’s declaration

illustrates the universal lesson of maternal devotion.

“In a fit of madness, he picked up his great bow and shot his children, thinking that they were enemies” (The Labors and Death of Heracles” 27). What causes Heracles to go mad? How does this deed set him on a journey of redemption?

“Whenever he felt the desire, he would attach Hector’s body to his chariot, drag it around and around Patroclus’ tomb, and then leave it lying face down in the dust” (Homer 71). Explain why Achilles does this near the end of The Iliad. What cultural value does he violate in doing so? is an online academic writing platform that provides essay and assignment solutions to students from all nations around the world. Based in the United States, assists students from over 100 countries with their assignments and essays.

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