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For this exam, you must compose two (2) mini-essays, two (2) about epic Each response will count equally (50 percent of your grade), so make sure to attempt and submit both. You may do so by putting two on a single document.
For this exam, please allow yourself the freedom to make bold, interesting connections, linking the genre theory of Louise Cowan to the assigned literary works read and the films viewed to this point in the term. Such bold and interesting connections are likely to be thwarted if you concern yourself too much with getting every word right and ensuring that every claim is proven. Attending too closely to such dry “scholarly” concerns is, for this exam, the wrong strategy. Instead, find for yourself the voice of an original reader or critic, one eager to share your own observation and not merely recapitulate what others have to say. With that in mind, do not spend much/any time correcting or proofreading your drafts. Do not spend any time at all considering others’ opinions. (Secondary research is strongly discouraged!) What I hope to find in your exam are not carefully composed, safe responses but, instead, original, and intellectually courageous attempts to wrestle with the course’s concepts and themes.
On page 11 of “Epic as Cosmopoesis,” Louise Cowan identifies four attributes of epic:
(1) “its penetration of the veil separating material and immaterial existence”
(2) “its eschatological expansion of time”
(3) “its restoration of equilibrium between masculine and feminine forces”
(4) its “sense of motion”
Use two attributes and compose a response of 325-375 words (about one double-spaced page) for each of the two you have chosen, drawing specific examples from Homer’s Odyssey and/or The Godfather. Please make clear which of the four characteristics you are discussing and select concrete examples from Homer’s text and the film that clearly illustrate the aspect of epic being explored in your response.