Oedipus Rex – Xmas break assignment

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Oedipus Rex assignment


If you are not here for my Prezi on the tragic hero, check it out on Prezi.com. My username is Kristine Harger.


Read “The Development of Tragedy,” “The Role of Music and Dance in the Performance of Tragedy,” “The Form of Tragedy and the Principal Greek Tragedians,” “Oedipus: Legend and Tragedy,” “Humanism and Sophoclean Tragedy,” the short introduction to the play, and the play itself.


Answer the nine questions on pages 128-129. For questions eight, you might refer to this webpage: http://www.britannica.com/Ebchecked/topic/425451/Oedipus-complex.


Be prepared to discuss (write) about how Oedipus is a tragic hero when we return from Christmas break.

Beowulf questions due Friday, Dec. 21

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Beowulf questions


DIRECTIONS: Answer the following questions using evidence from the poem to support your answers.


  1. What is it that makes Beowulf a true/epic hero? How do Beowulf’s deeds, words and beliefs come together to create the “perfect” hero?
  2. How much control do the characters in Beowulf have over their fates? Are skilled warriors any more likely to succeed than cowards? Who does the narrator remind us in calling all the shot?
  3. Why does Beowulf have to die at the end of the epic? How would the epic be different if it ended with Beowulf alive, triumphant and still king of the Geats?
  4. Several times in Beowulf, we hear the same story narrated twice: often when it happens, and then when a character explains what happened to someone who wasn’t there. For example, at the end of the epic Wiglaf witnesses Beowulf’s fight with the dragon and death, and then he describes it to the other Geats. Why do you think the author chose to repeat parts of the story in this way? What effect does it have on you as a reader?
  5. One important poetic device in Old English is the “kenning”: a compound word in which one thing is described by a fanciful two-word metaphor. For example, the sea is described as a “whale-road” (10), a king is described as a “ring-giver” (36), and a murderer is described as a “corpse-maker” (276). What effect do these kennings have on you as a reader? How do they add to the poetic atmosphere of the epic? Try finding some.

Compare/contrast Beowulf with one of the heroes from The Avengers.

12-11-12 AP homework prompt

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In addition to reading lines 688-1250 of Beowulf, respond to the following prompt in 1-2 paragraphs:

“Having responded to his own call, and continuing to follow courageously as the consequences unfold, the hero finds all the forces of the unconscious at his side. Mother Nature herself supports the mighty task. And in so far as the hero’s act coincides with that for which his society is ready, he seems to ride on the great rhythm of the historical process.”
–        Joseph Campbell, Hero With a Thousand Faces

How do Campbell’s comments apply to Beowulf’s journey thus far?