TO MY IH STUDENTS: Your Final Paper (due at the exam):

You must choose two themes that have particularly intrigued you over the course of the semester to write about. Below I provide you with a list to choose from.

First explain which themes you are intrigued with (and why if possible). Then explain how the texts you have read have helped to illuminate, alter renew, broaden . . . your understanding of said theme. In other words, I want to know how exposure to these IH texts have changed your life.

You must incorporate discussion and citations from texts in all three sections of the course: classical, sacred, humanist.

Here is an example of what I am looking for (PLEASE do not copy this and hand it in):

"I have always been intrigued with the idea of fate. Is there some force out there that has control over my life that I can't change? Or am I master of my own destiny? When we read Sophocles' Antigone, I understood the author's message to be XXXXXXXXXXXXX. I felt very unfulfilled by his conclusions, which I think are well represented by Creon's address to Antigone right before she is hauled away: "XXXXXXX." (A discussion of Sophocles' message concerning fate and free will in Antigone should follow, as well as editorial comments by you about whether you agree or not.)

Then, when we began reading the Old Testament, it all became much clearer to me: there is such a thing as free will...(and a discussion of appropriate passage of the OT should follow).

But it is Machiavelli who really has figured out the balance between fate and free will. As he clearly states in chapter............

Make sure you cite texts (as many as you like, but make sure that you aren't just listing passages with this theme in them - your thoughts about the theme should drive the essay), but choose themes particularly important to YOU.

3 page minimum (exactly 3 is fine)


relationship between man and God/gods

free will versus fate

law and justice - development, types, purpose, success, method of enforcing, the older tradition law usually unseats

leadership: qualities necessary for success

community: benefits, requirements of members

Morality versus practicality

Science/Religion/Mythology - differences and similarities

Appearance and Reality

Development of the Hero

Personal qualities necessary for individual success

Man's relationship with his environment/Nature

Power relationships

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