The texts we have read present Moses, Oedipus, and Creon (in Antigone) as different sorts of leaders. Compare Moses to either Oedipus or Creon, answering the question: What does each author think makes a good leader and why?
The texts we have read present Moses, Oedipus, and Creon (in Antigone) as different sorts of leaders. Compare Moses to either Oedipus or Creon, answering the question:
What does each author think makes a good leader and why?
Consider these questions:- What is his role in the text? Strong? Wise? Faithful? Law-abiding? Revolutionary? Refer to specific actions and statements made by the
character.- How do other characters react to their leadership? How does leadership fit into other points expressed in the text? For example, does the leader enforce or
uphold what the author advocates?- What was it in each author’s worldview/culture that made them depict a leader in such a way? Does this help to explain the
differences and similarities between the depictions? For example, does believing in free will and the covenant (Hebrew Bible) versus fate (Sophocles) cause different
depictions of leadership?/The biblical matriarchs (Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Leah) and Antigone (in Antigone) act heroically and serve the authors as role models for
future generations. Defend this claim. –In what ways can these women be described as heroic? How do we define heroism?
Paper #1: Outline and rough drafts due in recitation sections on February 17 for peer review. Rough
drafts can be submitted to recitation teachers by February 21 for feedback (this is optional). Final Papers due March 2. No late submissions will be accepted without
prior approval. Papers should
be submitted to NYU classes AND a hardcopy turned in. Directions:
* Select one out of the following five questions. Write an essay of approximately and no more than 1200 –1500 words. (Use the “word count” function in your word
* Quoting: you should quote from the text. Make sure that the quotes do not take up too large a part of your paper and only supplement (rather than substitute) your
own words. Quotes should support your argument, and only the relevant parts of a passage should be quoted. Whenever you quote, you MUST provide a citation in
parentheses. Here are some examples: (Symposium, 175E), (Exodus 22:1). Quotes should not stand on their own. They should be attached to some part of a non-quoted
sentence (it can be as short as: For example, “……..” or Sophocles states, “…………”).
* How to begin your paper: Jump straight to answering the question. Do not summarize the text, but rather write with a reader who is familiar with the text in mind.
Also avoid general sayings such as “In human history, women have always been subordinated” or “Leaders tend to be very interesting figures.” One way to start your
paper is with a question you will be answering. But don’t use the same wording – try to rephrase it, paraphrase it, or break it up.
* Make sure you have a thesis statement that is not a statement of fact, but rather a statement of an argument. You do not need to write “in my opinion” or “I will
argue” – this is implied, since it is your paper. Since each paper topic asks you to discuss two works or characters, your thesis may be something like: “Whereas
author X depicts subject Y as Z, author A portrays subject B as C. The discrepancy (or similarity) between these two treatments can be attributed to D.”
* How to end your paper: Wrap up your central points. If you follow a guideline of one idea/argument per paragraph in the course of your paper, you should be able to
form your last paragraph so that it contains one sentence for each paragraph you wrote. You can also conclude your paper by offering the reader something slightly new
that you did not discuss explicitly before. Another way to approach your conclusion is to expand your analysis out of the close reading of the characters or themes you
have investigated in the rest of the paper and comment on how the theme or character helps you to understand the rest of the text.
* Close attention will be paid to the writing. Good arguments can be lost when your writing is unclear or sloppy. Make sure you read through your paper at the end. A
helpful way to proofread is to read it out loud. Your ear can hear when something sounds awkward. You could also have a friend proofread it – do not rely on the
“spellcheck” function alone, as it will not catch errors such as “now” for “not.”
* Note that 1200-1500 words take up five to six double-spaced pages. Please use normal page margins, double spacing, 12 pt. font, and Times New Roman style. You do NOT
need a cover page, but you
should have a heading with your name, your TA’s name and the recitation section time, the date, and a TITLE for your paper.
* Plagiarism: copying any amount of text from any source (be it a book, website, article, speech, etc.) without proper attribution is plagiarism. Similarly, copying
ideas without citing where you read them is still plagiarism, even if you change the words around (paraphrasing). No research or reading of secondary literature is
required for this paper, though you may do research if you so wish. However, be sure to refer to all works consulted, and to footnote secondary literature where
appropriate. I would encourage everyone to do research in the library, rather than on the web. Whatever you do, DO NOT USE WIKIPEDIA, as a great deal of misinformation
is there. If you are unsure as to what constitutes plagiarism, PLEASE ASK and we will explain further.
For each of the questions the primary question is in bold. I have included some more specific sub- questions to guide your thinking (you do not need to incorporate
answers to all of these sub-questions into the paper, and you may address other sub-questions and issues that you feel are important.)
1. The texts we have read present Moses, Oedipus, and Creon (in Antigone) as different sorts of leaders. Compare Moses to either Oedipus or Creon, answering the
question: What does each author think makes a good leader and why?
Consider these questions:
– What is his role in the text? Strong? Wise? Faithful? Law-abiding? Revolutionary? Refer to specific actions and statements made by the character.
– How do other characters react to their leadership?
– How does leadership fit into other points expressed in the text? For example, does the leader enforce or uphold what the author advocates?
– What was it in each author’s worldview/culture that made them depict a leader in such a way? Does this help to explain the differences and similarities between the
depictions? For example, does believing in free will and the covenant (Hebrew Bible) versus fate (Sophocles) cause different depictions of leadership?
2. The biblical matriarchs (Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Leah) and Antigone (in Antigone) act heroically and serve the authors as role models for future generations. Defend
this claim. –In what ways can these women be described as heroic? How do we define heroism?
–How do the concepts of heroism differ in these texts?
–you need not discuss each biblical matriarch, but only two or three as space allows.
3. Both the Joseph Saga (Gen 37-50) and Oedipus the King involve reversals. Describe these reversals and explain how they relate to the large themes and lessons of
Genesis and Oedipus. This is a difficult question, and requires a great deal of hard work and careful reading to do well. It is one thing to say “this is a reversal”
but quite another to explore its significance and its relationship to larger issues.
Consider these questions:
-What reversals do each character experience and what brings about those reversals?
-To what extent is the character himself responsible for the reversals, and to what extent is he subject to outside forces? What are those forces?
-What are some of the general ideas and lessons of each text, and how do the reversals contribute to those ideas and lessons that the author is attempting to
4. In Sophocles’s Antigone and Plato’s Apology there is a tension between the requirements of divine law and human law. Compare the tensions and resolutions in both
works. Consider these questions:
–What is this tension in both works? What are the sources of this tension?
–How do Antigone and Socrates resolve this tension and justify their actions?
–What gives them the strength to face the sacrifices that their resolutions entail?
–What is the message of each author concerning types of human authority (note: Socrates faces a democracy; Antigone a king).
5. We have seen a great deal of emphasis on the concept of truth in these texts, both from the authors and the characters they invent (e.g. Moses, Oedipus, Creon [in
Antigone], Socrates). Select two characters and compare their searches for truth, answering the question: How does each character find truth and what does this tell us
about the author’s or authors’ concept of truth?
Consider these questions:
-Why and in what way is truth important to the character?
– What strategies do they use in their search? Or do they not search, but receive the truth anyway?
– How do they know when they’ve received the truth? How do they know something is true? Do they need proof? What kind of proof? Does it matter who reveals the truth?
Are there any characters that do not require proof for their beliefs?
(1) Do not tell me about others and how they considered the text. (E.g.: “For two hundred years Voltaire’s Candide has been considered a classic.” “Plato’s Apology has
been read for centuries and many interpretations have been proposed.”) Don’t say how everybody thinks the text is so great.
(2) Make sure you support your claims. Don’t make unsupportable general statements without evidence: (e.g. “Oedipus puts himself at the level of the gods.”) Don’t
offer shallow readings without explaining (“Oedipus was wrong to send Creon to get the oracle. He should have gone himself.”)
(3) Paragraphs are an important unit of organization. The first sentence– the topic sentence– should inform the reader what the paragraph is doing.
(4) Don’t summarize the text. (Plato’s Apology tells of the trial of Socrates. Socrates is charged with many crimes. There are three speeches. In the first Socrates
says…) You can assume I have read the text.
(5) Avoid the following common grammatical mistakes: (a) “Everyone thinks that their religion is the best.” “Each person is free to choose what they want to do in
life.” These are incorrect. (b) Make sure you know the difference between Hebrew’s Hebrews’ and Hebrews, and between its and it’s.
(6) Avoid colloquial usage: “The Bible thinks it is okay…” “That was no big deal…”