Essay

Based on our readings to date (Hesiod’s Theogony, Homeric Hymn to Demeter, Callinus, Tyrtaeus, Archilochus, Hipponax, Xenophanes, Sappho, Semonides, Alcaeus, Theognis), does a consistent and coherent picture of the lives of women in archaic Greece emerge? If so, what did it look like; if not, what are the points of contradiction? Consider, on the basis of these poems, what role(s) women seem to have had and what their social status seems to have been. How do the performance context(s) of these poems and the gender of the poets affect your analysis?

 

Clearly articulate your thesis (in answer to the prompt above) in your first paragraph. Your essay response should focus strictly upon our readings: DO NOT make unfounded, general claims (e.g. ‘back then, women had no power’), RATHER, DO make specific, supported claims (e.g. ‘one may infer from Sappho’s address to Cleïs that a mother in the sixth century might feel X for her daughter, which shows Y’).

 

You must provide specific references to the texts: include a minimum of six parenthetical citations in your essay in support of your claims. Citations must be relevant and essential to the point you are making. See, below, for citation guidelines. A strong essay will show some independence of thought, both in terms of the evidence selected and your analysis of it. Try to make indirect, nonobvious connections, and go beyond mere logical or surface-level analysis. Be sure that your essay is well organized, with each major claim and discussion of the evidence leading clearly into the next argument.

 

Your essay should be at least two, but no more than three, FULL, double-spaced pages, composed in MS Word, 12-point, Times New Roman font, with 1-inch margins

 

Citations should consist of: line number(s) for Hesiod and the Homeric Hymn, poem or fragment number for the poets in Greek Lyric Poetry. These should be placed in parentheses at the end of a sentence, before a period, such as:

 

Tyrtaeus asserts that the kings, elders, and the commoners will all have a role in Sparta’s governance (4). This shows that…

Hesiod describes in his Theogony how the Muses bestowed on him the gift of song (23-34). Such a claim demonstrates how…

*Note that these examples may not be relevant for any argument you would make in this essay (see, above, on the required relevance of all citations: your citations must be relevant).

 

A reference should be an accurate paraphrase of the passage you cite, BUT NOT a direct quotation. For example: Tyrtaeus asserts that the kings, elders, and the commoners will all have a role in Sparta’s governance (4). Again, your essay should have no direct quotations.

 

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