Format: A minimum 600 words; no special formatting is necessary
Assignment: For your final exam, I would like you to write about three to five common themes
found in the works we have read this semester:
The Epic of Gilgamesh
The Thousand and One Nights
Sei Shonagon & Christine of Pisan
· clarity of language
· unity of paragraphs
· cogency of terms
· analytical insight
· relevance of textual references Words of Advice:
You do not need to discuss every work we have read, but try to draw your references from as many as possible. Part of your effort should be in the precise naming and definition of your themes: if, for example, you discuss “revenge,” refine the meaning of that term from several angles, e.g.: cultural, historical, literary, psychological, military, etc. Focus explicitly on the way you define the thematic concepts, and then seek after points of comparison and contrast: so, in terms of revenge, how is Beowulf’s violence against Grendel similar or different to Dante’s “violence” toward the damned he encounters further down in the Inferno? It is entirely up to you, however, as to which themes you choose, and how you define them.
In addition to discussing the works themselves, you might conclude with (or include within the body of the essay) a consideration of the ways these texts bear relevance to the world and time we live in now, and your own life.