2330 Short Paper 2 Prompt

Choose one of the following questions to respond to. If, however, you have a definite idea you may write your own response with whatever thesis idea you have as long as it relates to the text(s) the questions below concern.

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Responses should be 2-3 pp. typed in MLA-style; the works cited page does not count toward page count. 2 pages means 2 full pages of writing, not half or quarter pages.

NOTE: MLA requires a works cited page, MLA heading, a title, in-text citations, pagination, 1” margins, and 12 pt. Times New Roman font.

Your responses must have at least 3 quotes from the primary text. Please do not select extremely long quotes to pad out an underdeveloped paper.

Each paper should be revised by you before submission to the D2L dropbox. Please see the Revision Gauntlet module on D2L for important items to consider for revision. This first response paper will be graded more leniently for these items, but in later response papers, basic mistakes such as those outlined in the Revision Gauntlet will be treated more harshly.

Question Choices:

Compare Odysseus as a leader with any of the male figures we have examined from Beowulf (e.g. Hrothgar, Hygelac) or The Saga of the Volsungs. How is he different? Similar? What does this suggest about differences between the medieval and classical worlds’ definitions of masculinity and leadership?

How are speech and talking central to the identities of both Beowulf and Odysseus?

Discuss the problem of dynastic violence and transition from the perspective of any of the following women: Penelope, Hildeburh, Signy or Brynhild from The Saga of the Volsungs. How are women in these cultures left in precarious positions by war and dynastic betrayal?

Consider the presentation of violence in any of the modern poetry by Gibson, Francisco, and Smith. How does the poet justify or excuse violence, or if it is not justified and excused, how does the poet explain its existence.

Compare this to violence as it appears in either A) the sagas and/or Beowulf, B) The Odyssey, or C) The Penelopiad. Again, consider for whichever comparison you make the justifications for violence, or the explications for its existence in the relevant text.

Rubric for Short Paper

Explicit thesis: identifies the texts, suggests a thoughtful reading of the text(s) that responds to the chosen prompt
Clarity and Depth of Thought: well-developed with at least 3 textual examples of appropriate length

Well-organized essay: identifiable introduction, body, and conclusion
Length/Format/Citations: paper is of sufficient length and follows MLA style

Grammatically Correct Total:


/40pts /20 pts /15 pts

/15 pts /100 pts

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