Odysseus and Lucius: Narratives of Suffering In both Homer’s Odyssey and Apuleius’ The Golden Ass/Challenging Cultural Traditions
Choose one of the following issues to examine.
responding to one of the following two topics: 1. Odysseus and Lucius: Narratives of Suffering In both Homer’s Odyssey and Apuleius’ The Golden Ass, the protagonist spends a significant amount of time struggling to reach the end of a long and arduous journey. Eventually, both Odysseus and Lucius successfully attain their goals, with Odysseus reestablishing himself as the king of Ithaca, and Lucius being restored to human form. Comparing the experiences of these characters on their respective journeys, develop a thesis arguing for which character experiences more personal hardship and suffering, and why. Your thesis statement should state which character suffers more, along with stating a fundamental reason why you think that this is the case.
Listed below are some issues you may wish to discuss in your analysis (you are free to explore other related issues as well). While your paper should be driven by a specific thesis, you may wish to consider how these various questions relate to your argument. • Which character experiences more obstacles and hardships? Is either character more well-equipped to deal with such obstacles? • Does either character ever want to give up on the goals of their journey because of its difficulty, or do they remain focused on their original goals throughout? Do we ever see either character lamenting their personal situation? • In what ways is each character affected by feelings of isolation from society? How is each character affected by the relationships he forms with other people he encounters on his journey? • Are there any points when either character’s journey does not seem difficult? Are there any points where either character actually seems to gain enjoyment, rather than suffering, from his experiences? • How is the journey of each character impacted by divine and/or supernatural forces? Do such forces ease or worsen their suffering? • How are the characters changed by their experiences, and does this change result from the suffering endured on their journey?
2. Challenging Cultural Traditions in Classical Literature Many of the texts we have read this semester feature characters who challenge traditions that exist in their culture. Such characters may do so directly and intentionally, or they may do so indirectly or even unwillingly. Choose two characters from different pieces of literature we have read this semester, comparing the ways in which they challenge traditions, stereotypes, or assumptions that exist in the culture they are a part of. For your thesis for this topic, you should state an argument about one fundamental similarity in the ways that your two
characters challenge cultural traditions/stereotypes /assumptions, and one fundamental difference in the ways they challenge cultural traditions/stereotypes/assumptions. In the body of your paper, you should explain exactly what cultural traditions/stereotypes/ assumptions are challenged by each character, and then develop and support the points made in your thesis.
Listed below are some issues you may wish to discuss in your analysis (you are free to explore other related issues as well). While your paper should be driven by a specific thesis, you may wish to consider how these various questions relate to your argument. • How can we tell that cultural traditions are being challenged in each piece of literature? Does the piece of literature make that explicit, or does it have to be inferred by the reader? • Do your characters challenge cultural traditions in an outspoken or direct way? Or are their challenges to cultural traditions more subtle/less obvious? • Are your characters part of a larger group or movement that is challenging cultural traditions, or are the characters alone in challenging cultural traditions? • How do other characters (whether they are mortals or gods) respond when traditional cultural elements are challenged or threatened? Is the character viewed or treated differently because of the challenge(s) s/he presents to tradition? For example, is the character perceived as a threat to society? Is the character honored or respected? • Within the work of literature, does the character’s challenge to traditional culture result in any observable change in culture or society?

Odysseus and Lucius: Narratives of Suffering In both Homer’s Odyssey and Apuleius’ The Golden Ass/Challenging Cultural Traditions
Choose one of the following issues to examine.
responding to one of the following two topics: 1. Odysseus and Lucius: Narratives of Suffering In both Homer’s Odyssey and Apuleius’ The Golden Ass, the protagonist spends a significant amount of time struggling to reach the end of a long and arduous journey. Eventually, both Odysseus and Lucius successfully attain their goals, with Odysseus reestablishing himself as the king of Ithaca, and Lucius being restored to human form. Comparing the experiences of these characters on their respective journeys, develop a thesis arguing for which character experiences more personal hardship and suffering, and why. Your thesis statement should state which character suffers more, along with stating a fundamental reason why you think that this is the case.
Listed below are some issues you may wish to discuss in your analysis (you are free to explore other related issues as well). While your paper should be driven by a specific thesis, you may wish to consider how these various questions relate to your argument. • Which character experiences more obstacles and hardships? Is either character more well-equipped to deal with such obstacles? • Does either character ever want to give up on the goals of their journey because of its difficulty, or do they remain focused on their original goals throughout? Do we ever see either character lamenting their personal situation? • In what ways is each character affected by feelings of isolation from society? How is each character affected by the relationships he forms with other people he encounters on his journey? • Are there any points when either character’s journey does not seem difficult? Are there any points where either character actually seems to gain enjoyment, rather than suffering, from his experiences? • How is the journey of each character impacted by divine and/or supernatural forces? Do such forces ease or worsen their suffering? • How are the characters changed by their experiences, and does this change result from the suffering endured on their journey?
2. Challenging Cultural Traditions in Classical Literature Many of the texts we have read this semester feature characters who challenge traditions that exist in their culture. Such characters may do so directly and intentionally, or they may do so indirectly or even unwillingly. Choose two characters from different pieces of literature we have read this semester, comparing the ways in which they challenge traditions, stereotypes, or assumptions that exist in the culture they are a part of. For your thesis for this topic, you should state an argument about one fundamental similarity in the ways that your two
characters challenge cultural traditions/stereotypes /assumptions, and one fundamental difference in the ways they challenge cultural traditions/stereotypes/assumptions. In the body of your paper, you should explain exactly what cultural traditions/stereotypes/ assumptions are challenged by each character, and then develop and support the points made in your thesis.
Listed below are some issues you may wish to discuss in your analysis (you are free to explore other related issues as well). While your paper should be driven by a specific thesis, you may wish to consider how these various questions relate to your argument. • How can we tell that cultural traditions are being challenged in each piece of literature? Does the piece of literature make that explicit, or does it have to be inferred by the reader? • Do your characters challenge cultural traditions in an outspoken or direct way? Or are their challenges to cultural traditions more subtle/less obvious? • Are your characters part of a larger group or movement that is challenging cultural traditions, or are the characters alone in challenging cultural traditions? • How do other characters (whether they are mortals or gods) respond when traditional cultural elements are challenged or threatened? Is the character viewed or treated differently because of the challenge(s) s/he presents to tradition? For example, is the character perceived as a threat to society? Is the character honored or respected? • Within the work of literature, does the character’s challenge to traditional culture result in any observable change in culture or society?