Dr. Siegel
Final Examination Review Sheet IH 051 Fall 2000


For all three texts, be able to discuss man’s relationship with God, laws developed to provide man with code of conduct, rewards and punishments, the idea of the prophet and his relationship with God and the people, obedience and freedom, the nature of human nature (good or evil or neither or both), the idea of the shepherd who leads the people, social justice, religious law and law of the land, charity and love, fate and free will, the idea of the covenant. Be able to distinguish between the different texts’ attitudes and laws concerning the above (in general, folks – don’t panic).

Old Testament: all aspects of the creation story; the Fall of Man (Adam and Eve); Cain and Abel; Noah; Abraham and Isaac and Ishmael; Moses and the Israelites enslaved in Egypt; the Ten Plagues; the Exodus from Egypt; the trials of the desert; the Ten Commandments and the Laws; the use and nature of miracles; God’s method of revelation (showing himself and his power).

New Testament (Gospel of Matthew): the uniqueness of Jesus; the use and nature of miracles; the idea of "fulfillment" in Matthew; the teachings of Jesus; rhetoric, approach, and method of Jesus; method of revelation. Come in prepared to discuss any ONE parable of your choice from the Gospel of Matthew. You will have to explain the story as Jesus tells it, and then explain what it "really" means in terms of the spiritual lesson he provides.

Koran: the style, language and overall presentation of the Koran; virtues and activities commanded of "believers" (see the Five Pillars of Islam), the treatment of women; justice and law. Know The Five Pillars of Islam and The Main Articles of Faith (IH GUIDE)

Sundiata: elements of the epic genre; Sundiata’s leadership qualities; the role of the griot; the oral tradition, elements of Islam as well as pre-Islamic elements evident in the tale; elements of the supernatural in the tale, treatment of women. Know: sofa, griot, jinn

HUMANIST SECTION: be able to define humanism

Consider the three texts in regard to their:

- concern with things other than spiritual
- concern with the difference between reality and appearance
- attitude toward life and human beings

Starry Messenger: Galileo’s observations and conclusions; Galileo’s methods; the difference between the Copernican (heliocentric) and Ptolemaic (geocentric) cosmological models); the significance of Galileo’s observations and why he gets in trouble with the Church (SEE MY ON-LINE LECTURE)

The Prince: Machiavelli’s cult of power; Machiavelli’s message (be able to argue that this is NOT a handbook for tyrants); Machiavelli’s method (use of examples from both ancient and contemporary history); actions a ruler should avoid; qualities a ruler should have; Machiavelli’s Renaissance Italy; how and why Machiavelli is considered a humanist. Know virtu.

Othello: basic plot, characters, settings; Shakespeare’s use of contrasts to distinguish good from evil and how the contrast shifts during the course of the play; why Act 3 scene 3 is the pivotal scene of the play; key motifs and repeated metaphors (Christian vs heathen, heaven vs hell, light vs dark); Iago’s use of animal imagery and other insights into his character; the significance of soliloquies, especially Iago’s; key dramatic terms (monologue, soliloquy, aside), how everyone participates in the tragedy.


For the final examination, you will also be asked to comment on several key passages. Be prepared to answer questions on some of the following passages:

  • Be able to identify the author and title of the text from which it is excerpted. WARNING: THE ANSWER IS NEVER "THE IH GUIDE"
  • Be able to identify the context of the discussion
  • Be able to explain how this particular passage reflects some major theme of the entire work


  • Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, "As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth." God said, "This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth." God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth." (Genesis 9:8-17)
  • Then the Lord said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers." So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the Lord tossed the Egyptians into the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, and the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained. But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great work that the Lord did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses. (Exodus 14:26-31)
  • "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of one letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven." (Gospel of Matthew)
  • We made a covenant with Adam, but he forgot, and We found him lacking in steadfastness. And when We said to the angels, "Prostrate yourselves before Adam," they all prostrated themselves except Satan, who refused. "Adam," We said, "Satan is an enemy to you and to your wife. Let him not turn you both out of Paradise and plunge you into affliction. Here you shall not hunger or be naked; you shall not thirst, or feel the scorching heat." But Satan whispered to him, saying, "Adam, shall I show you the Tree of Immortality and an everlasting kingdom?" They both ate of its fruit, so that they saw their nakedness and began to cover themselves with the leaves of the Garden. Thus did Adam disobey his Lord and go astray. Then his Lord had mercy on him; He relented towards him and rightly guided him. "Get you down, both," He said, "and may your offspring be enemies to each other. When My guidance is revealed to you, he that follows it shall neither err nor grieve; but he that rejects My warning shall live in woe and come before Us blind on the Day of Resurrection...Do they not see how many generations We have destroyed before them? They walk amidst the very ruins where once they dwelt. Surely in this there are signs for men of judgment." (Sura 20:115-127)

HINT: Does this sound familiar? Look up Genesis 3. Be able to discuss the differences intelligently and in detail.

  • You, Maghan, you are Mali. It has had a long and difficult childhood like you. Sixteen kings have preceded you on the throne of Niani, sixteen kings have reigned with varying fortunes, but from being village chiefs the Keitas have become tribal chiefs and then kings. Sixteen generations have consolidated their power. You are the outgrowth of Mali just as the silk-cotton tree is the growth of the earth, born of deep and mighty roots. To face the tempest the tree must have long roots and gnarled branches. Maghan Sundiata, has not the tree grown?" Sundiata (Krina)
  • There are some kings who are powerful through their military strength. Everybody trembles before them, but when they die nothing but ill is spoken of them. Others do neither good nor ill and when they die they are forgotten. Others are feared because they have power, but they know how to use it and they are loved because they love justice. Sundiata belonged to this group. He was feared, but loved as well. He was the father of Mali and gave the world peace. After him the world has not seen a greater conqueror, for he was the seventh and last conqueror. He had made the capital of an empire out of his father's village, and Niani became the navel of the earth. In the most distant lands Niani was talked of and foreigners said, "Travelers from Mali can tell lies with impunity," for Mali was a remote country for many peoples. Sundiata (Niane)
  • There is another thing which I must not omit. for I beheld it not without a certain wonder; this is that almost in the center of the moon there is a cavity larger than all the rest, and perfectly round in shape. I have observed it near both first and last quarters, and have tried to represent it as correctly as possible in the second of the above figures. As to light and shade, it offers the same appearance as would a region like Bohemia if that were enclosed on all sides by very lofty mountains arranged exactly in a circle. ("The Starry Messenger")
  • Here we have a fine and elegant argument for quieting the doubts of those who, while accepting with tranquil mind the revolutions of the planets about the sun in the Copernican system, are mightily disturbed to have the moon alone revolve about the earth and accompany it in an annual rotation about the sun. Some have believed that this structure of the universe should be rejected as impossible. But now we have not just one planet rotating about another while both run through a great orbit around the sun; our own eyes show us four stars which wander around Jupiter as does the moon around the earth, while all together trace out a grand revolution about the sun in the space of twelve years. ("The Starry Messenger")

    Nevertheless, since our free will must not be eliminated, I think it may be true that fortune determines one half of our actions, but that, even so, she leaves us to control the other half, or thereabouts. And I compare her to one of those torrential rivers that, when they get angry, break their banks, knock down trees and buildings, strip the soil from one place and deposit it somewhere else. Everyone flees before them, everyone gives way in face of their onrush, nobody can resist them at any point. But although they are so powerful, this does not mean men, when the waters receded, cannot make repairs and build banks and barriers so that, if the waters rise again, either they will be safely kept within the sluices or at least their onrush will not be so unregulated and destructive. The same thing happens with fortune: She demonstrates her power where precautions have not been taken to resist her (dove non Ť ordinata virtý a resistere); she directs her attack where she knows banks and barriers have not been built to hold her... (The Prince, chapter 25)

  • With goods that belong neither to you nor to your subjects, you can afford to be generous, as Cyrus, Caesar, and Alexander were. Squandering other people's money does not do your reputation any harm,, quite the reverse. The problem is with squandering your own. There is nothing so self-defeating as generosity, for the more generous you are, the less you are able to be generous. Generosity leads to poverty and disgrace, or, if you escape that, to rapacity and hostility. Among all the things a ruler should try to avoid, he must avoid above all being hated and despised. Generosity leads to your being both. So it is wiser to accept a reputation as miserly, which people despise but do not hate, than to aspire to a reputation as generous, and as a consequence, be obliged to face criticism for rapacity, which people both despise and hate. (The Prince, chapter 16)
  • Iago: Even now, now, very now, an old black ram
    Is tupping your white ewe. Arise! arise!
    Awake the snorting citizens with the bell,
    Or else the devil will make a grandsire of you. (Othello I.i...)
  • Iago: For that I do suspect the lusty Moor
    Hath leaped into my seat; the thought whereof
    Doth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my
    inwards; And nothing can or shall content my soul
    Till I am evened with him, wife for wife;
    Or failing so, yet that I put the Moor
    At least into a jealousy so strong
    That judgment cannot cure. Which thing to do
    If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trace
    For his quick hunting, stand the putting on,
    I'll have our Michael Cassio on the hip,
    Abuse him to the Moor in the right garb
    (For I fear Cassio with my nightcap too),
    Make the Moor thank me, love me, and reward me
    For making him egregiously an ass
    And practicing upon his peace and quiet
    Even to madness. (Othello, II.i.322-339)

Back to IH
Back to Dr. J's Home Page