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University of Oregon Search of A Beauty State in Ancient Greece Plato Essay

University of Oregon Search of A Beauty State in Ancient Greece Plato Essay

Question Description

Basic requirements:

Your essay should use evidence from at least one main reading (ancient) from three of the four sections of the course. Authors are listed below. Use of visual material is encouraged ( e.g. Vase paintings found on artstor.org).

Good essays have the following qualities:

  • A clear argument (“thesis” or “the point that you are trying to communicate to your reader”). The argument is quickly stated in the first paragraph, without exaggeration or other unnecessary rhetoric. Each paragraph of the essay is a step towards a convincing overall statement of the argument.
  • Meticulous support of each step in the argument by reference to the texts under discussion. By “reference” we mean quotes, paraphrases or simply references to sections of text. In all cases references should be short and to the point; in particular, avoid block quotes of more than three or four lines. All evidence should include appropriate numerical references to texts (e.g. Iliad 9.320, or Theogony 223-225).
  • A rhetorically modest style: avoid anecdote, cliche, rhetorical questions, exaggeration, exclamation, and other tricks that try to distract your reader from the logic and articulation of your argument. Simplicity, clarity and calm will be rewarded.

That’s pretty much it. Essays that hit those three points will get good grades. I’ve given B grades to papers that I thought were crazy misreadings of the texts or way off the mark in other ways, but which achieved the above and therefore sounded at least sensible. For an A grade your argument has to actually be sensible, but I have never figured out how to teach that.

I will use the following rubric to grade your papers. if you focus on the points above, you’ll do fine on the rubric.

  • Clarity and logic of argument (thesis is stated at the beginning and advanced a step in each paragraph; logic is coherent and persuasive; argument is an appropriate response to paper topic) 30%
  • Pacing and structure (each point is given attention appropriate to its importance; preparatory points come first, more conclusive ones later; argument is not repetitive, tangents are avoided, and paragraphs are intelligently connected) 30%
  • Use of evidence (each point is supported by reference to appropriate evidence – usually an ancient text or artefact; quotes are well focused (do not use block quotes), well explained, and clearly support the point; the essay text helps the reader see the connection between evidence and argument) 30%
  • Style, spelling and grammar. 10%
  • Formatting, font size, line spacing, paragraph indentation, Adherence to MLA or APA formatting etc. 0% Of course, if you cite a text, you need to make sure we can check your citation (which you can do with a bibliography, an inline reference, a footnote or a combination of these, and how you choose to do that will vary with different kinds of argument, the pacing of your argument and so on). If you don’t cite a text that you use as evidence or as part of your argument, we have a problem! But this all comes under point 3, Use of Evidence. Use your judgment – this is your paper.

Authors/texts: (I have attached the readings that you may use. Which is related to part 4)

  • Part 1: Hesiod: Theogony, Works and Days. Homer: Iliad, Odyssey
  • Part 2: Archaic poetry: Archilochus, Alcman, Sappho and Theognis and Solon in PDF reader;
  • Part 3: Aeschylus, Sophocles, Thucydides, Herodotus (since Herodotus is a 5th century author, I’ve included him here).
  • Part 4: Plato, Aristophanes, Plato, Apollodorus

Use of secondary material (including assigned readings):

You may use secondary material (things written after the period we’re studying, such as the history textbook) to support your argument, but please be sure that the argument itself is your own response to the primary (ancient) readings. Be wary of ideas and interpretations you find online.

Topics:
Pick one of the following ideas and trace its development through Greek literature and history, as exemplified in your chosen texts, and supported if possible by examples from visual arts and the secondary readings assigned for the class. Look for contrasts and continuities, and be sure to develop a focused thesis. Your paper shouldn’t ultimately be about (for instance) “love in Ancient Greece”, but it might be an argument that “love is a religious concept in Ancient Greece”, or perhaps that “love is a female concept until Plato, who re-genders it as masculine”. Neither of these is necessarily the case, but they are examples of ways you can focus the broad ideas listed below, according to what you personally find in your readings. There are no right or wrong answers here, though there certainly are good observations and intelligent readings to be explored.

  • Women’s Power
  • Justice
  • Love
  • Manliness
  • Monsters and Monstrousness
  • Appearance and Reality
  • Persuasion
  • Play and Games
  • Beauty
  • Happiness

Scope:

Do not try to answer the great questions of life with this essay. Small, intelligent, modest observations which are well supported by the evidence will do nicely. Again, narrow down your topic to a clear, unambitious thesis statement, which you will state clearly in your first paragraph.

Your First Paragraph:

  • Don’t start with a definition from a dictionary
  • Don’t tell me what scholars/readers/audiences have done/said/thought/admired for millenia
  • Don’t tell me what “Greeks”, “Grecians” or “Greek culture” thought or believed. Your paper is going to make a nuanced, well supported argument based on limited evidence: don’t start it off with unsupportable generalizations.
  • Do be quick and to the point. Outline for me what you’re going to argue and where your evidence will be drawn from.

here are the readings you need to cite in your paper: https://prnt.sc/tm3khz

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NB

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Regards,

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