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The Tragic Hero: In Oedipus Tyrannus, should we view
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Choose 1 of the following topics, and write a thesis-driven essay in response to that topic:

  1. The Tragic Hero: In Oedipus Tyrannus, should we view Oedipus as tragic only, or can we find something heroic in his actions and end? Support your argument by discussing only events and lines from the play.
  2. Being Human: Consider Oedipus’ attempts to outrun prophecy: what does Sophocles seem to be arguing, through the play, about human potential and limitations? Support your argument by discussing only events and lines from the play.
  3. Learning Culture from Literature: choose 1 poem by Li Bai, and analyze it for a picture of the culture in which Li Bai was writing. What is one piece of information about that culture that we can infer from the poem, and what does Li Bai seem to be saying about that information? Support your argument by discussing only passages from the poem you chose.
  4. Shared Themes: Choose one (1) poem by Li Bai, and identify in it a theme that you also can find in Oedipus Tyrannus. Compare and contrast the two works’ treatment of the theme. Do they deal with that theme in a way that is more alike or different? Focus your thesis on arguing how the treatments are more similar/different,   and support your argument by discussing only passages from the two works.

 

**** This essay should be a 600-900 word essay

  • This should be a close reading essay, and should use as evidence primarily passages from the story or stories that you discuss. You may not use ANY outside sources without the instructor's approval.
  • The essay should be in MLA essay format (see the sample essay attached below) and use MLA citations. A works cited entry and in-text citations for each text discussed are required.
  • It should have a self-assessment (which should answer these questions) as the first page.
  • The essay should be focused on making a debatable claim about the work(s) in question; informational essays or essays consisting of summary are not appropriate. The claim should be supported with discussion of specific passages from the text(s) on which the essay is focused. The essay grading rubric can be found here.
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