Explore the relationship between humanity and the divine.

Explore the relationship between humanity and the divine.

Literary Analysis Draft

By the due date assigned, submit your essay as a Microsoft Word document to the Discussion Area at the bottom of the page.

By the end of the week, comment on at least two of your classmate’s submissions using the peer review questions provided below.

The major assignment for this week is to compose a 900-word essay comparing The Odyssey with either The Song of Roland or Dante’s Inferno. In this paper you will write an in-depth analysis using your own ideas and excerpts from the epic poems in the form of quotes, paraphrase, or summary.

Select one of the following topics:

  1. Although nearly two thousand years separate The Odyssey and Dante’s Inferno, both works are epic poems that:
    • Explore the relationship between humanity and the divine. Employ journey as a metaphor for maturation.
    • Reveal and teach cultural values about leadership.
    • Caution audiences about the appeal of temptation.
    • Contemplate the nature of immortality.
    • Compare and contrast how one of these topics is developed in The Odyssey and Dante’s Inferno.
  2. The Song of Roland and The Odyssey, though separated by thousands of years, are both epic works whose protagonists are warriors engaged in violent conflict: Roland is a medieval Crusader and Odysseus is on a long journey home after conquering Troy.
    Additionally, both works:

    • Explore the relationship between humanity and the divine.
    • Reveal and teach cultural values about leadership.
    • Contemplate the nature of immortality.
    • Examine the moral and practical implications of loyalty and betrayal.

Compare and contrast how one of these topics is developed in The Song of Roland and The Odyssey.

Proofread the rough draft to ensure:

  • The thesis is clear and focused, and the introduction includes all the necessary information.
  • The discussion of evidence includes quotes, paraphrases, or summaries and synthesizes this material and your ideas.
  • The conclusion is appropriate and reinforces the paper’s main ideas without repeating the introduction word for word.
  • The essay is formatted in APA style throughout. It uses appropriate grammar, spelling, and mechanics, and quoted material does not exceed 25% of the paper.

When responding to your peers please answer the following questions:

  • Locate the paper’s thesis. Is it obvious or unclear? Does it establish an interpretation of a key theme from the poem? Is the thesis as specific as it needs to be?
  • Is each paragraph organized around one key point? Do topic sentences clearly indicate the focus of each paragraph?
  • Does the author support each main point with direct quotations that are analyzed and explained? Do you have any suggestions for improvement?
  • Where do you disagree with the author’s analysis? What aspects of the poems are left unexplained?
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