Final Forum Questions
University Studies 210
Both Dionysus, as presented by Euripides in The Bacchae, and Eros, as
presented by Plato in the Symposium, are gods of love. What are
the essential qualities of love as offered respectively by each
writer? Which view of love is more valid and why?
How do Hector, Achilles and Alcibiades each examplify or fail to
exemplify arete? Which of the three strikes you as being the best
representative of arete and why?
Compare Odysseus with either John Glenn or Bill Bradley. Which in
your estimation, is the more civilized person and why? (In your answer
state what it means to be civilized and state in your opinion whether we
are more civilized than the ancient Greeks and why.)
What are the essential differences between the ancient world as
presented by the books we have read this semester and the modern world?
In what ways if any is modernity an advance over or a retreat from
ancient times? Why, why not?
Do you think Aristophanes treated Socrates fairly in The Clouds?
Explain why or why not.
Using Achilles and Oedipus as examples, give a definition of the
tragic hero. Which man in your estimation better exemplifies the ideal
of the tragic hero and why?
Compare and contrast the passion of Clytemnestra with that of Agave.
Are these women examples of the "tragic Heroine" that might be thought
of as the feminine equivalent of the tragic hero? Which woman in your
estimation better exemplifies the Greek notion of tragedy, and why?
Using Oedipus and Socrates as examples, discuss the polarities of
determinism versus free will. Which man in your estimation better
represents the essential elements of the Greek world-view that we have
studied this semester?
If you had to choose between either the Iliad or the Symposium to
present to persons unfamiliar with ancient Greece in order to convince
them of the value of this ancient culture, which one would you select
Of the three great tragedians, Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, which
one do you feel best presents tragedy to his audience and why?
Was Athen's culture superior to Sparta's, or were the two cultures
simply different? Defend your position.
What are the three most important ways in which ancient Athenian
society is similar to ours? For each similarity, state whether you
think it is good or bad. What are the three most important way in
which the two societies are different? For each difference, say
whether you think our society or Athens is better. Justify your
Do you think Socrates was "the wisest man" or a trouble-making boor?
Or do you view him in some other way? Justify your evaluation.
Which fictional or historical character which you have studied (in this
course or otherwise) best represents for you qualities which we have
studied this semester and why?
Do you think arete can be taught (as the Sophists claimed to do)?
Explain why or why not.
Aristophanes presents Socrates' "thinking-house" as undermining
traditional Athenian values, and Socrates characterized himself as the
"gadfly of the Athenians," provoking them into questioning their values.
What do you think is the proper role of "thinking-houses" (higher
education) in our society?
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Thu Dec 2 15:19:12 EST 1999