Final Forum Questions

University Studies 210

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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.)
  4. 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?
  5. Do you think Aristophanes treated Socrates fairly in The Clouds? Explain why or why not.
  6. 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?
  7. 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?
  8. 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?
  9. 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 and why?
  10. Of the three great tragedians, Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, which one do you feel best presents tragedy to his audience and why?
  11. Was Athen's culture superior to Sparta's, or were the two cultures simply different? Defend your position.
  12. 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 answers.
  13. 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.
  14. 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?
  15. Do you think arete can be taught (as the Sophists claimed to do)? Explain why or why not.
  16. 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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Last updated: Thu Dec 2 15:19:12 EST 1999