1. Description- what is the content? If you aren’t certain of the genre, then usually thinking out the nature of the content will help you figure it out.
2. Genre- what kind of work is this? Is it history, poetry, philosophy, a biography, a novel, or what?
3. Concerns- are there any things that the author focuses on heavily that you think illuminate what it is that matters to the author? In other words, what are some of the recurring themes that seem that structure the work? (Strongly consider the context when you are trying to figure this out)
4. Context- does the way that the author frames their story seem to indicate that they are engaging in a discussion with their contemporaries? If so, what seems to be the debate that they are engaged in? You can consult the lectures or outside sources to try to figure out what the conditions were in the author’s day.
The paper will be due on Thursday, June 2. I prefer that you print it out and hand it in, but if you can’t, then I’ll create a Dropbox on Carmen for you to deposit your papers.
Recommended alternatives: (These books are not formally assigned and will not be discussed in any depth in class. If you are interested in something lengthy, then talk to me and we can choose a section of the text to analyze.)
1. Any of the biographies by Plutarch or Suetonius
2. Any dialogue of Plato
3. Any of the lives featured in Michael Psellus
4. Any of the various chronicles of the Crusades
5. Romance of the Three Kingdoms
6. The Tale of Genji
7. The Epic of Gilgamesh
8. Lao Tzu
9. Sun Tzu, The Art of War
10. Any of the Viking epics