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May 02, 2023

You can pick one of these topics to write about:)


How is the theme of “duty” or “obligation” as a virtue conveyed through the Prince of Denmark Hamlet in the play Hamlet, Arjuna as a “warrior” in The Bhagavad-Gita, and Don Quixote as a “knight errant”? What is the conflict or moral dilemma that each of these “characters” must face, and what do they learn about their role/duty/obligation in the world? How is it similar or different?

Discuss real or imaginary “monsters” fought or confronted in Cervante’s Don Quixote, Dante’s Inferno, and Homer’s Odyssey. What do the “monsters” or creatures represent for the characters in these readings, and what are their roles? Basically, what do the monsters symbolize, and what’s their power that the characters must conquer or overcome as a result? What do the “monsters” reveal about the characters and what each one’s quest or journey actually proves to be? (Note: You will need to specify at least ONE example for monsters/creatures from each reading.)

How are quests or journeys to the underworld/afterlife portrayed in The Epic of Gilgamesh, Dante’s Inferno, and Homer’s Odyssey? Basically, discuss how each reading portrays what the main characters must confront in the different underworlds; why they must journey to the underworld, the purpose of their journey, and what they hope or expect to attain as a result? Are they successful in terms of achieving knowledge, salvation, redemption, etc.? If so, answer how and support your discussion with specific examples and/or passages from each reading, and don’t be vague.

Discuss the theme of lies/deceit/deception (i.e., fraudulence /manipulation as other variations of this term for deceit) in the following readings listed: Dante’s Inferno, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and Cervante’s Don Quixote to compare/contrast for this essay question. Again, you should support your discussion with specific examples and passages from each reading, and don’t be vague.
How do characters like Hamlet, Claudius, Horatio, or even Ophelia in Shakespeare’s work use deception or lies, and what purpose does their deceit serve?
If dishonesty serves a purpose in Hamlet, how are lies/deceit the ultimate betrayal and sin in Dante’s Inferno when you consider the sinners and their punishments in hell?
Finally, at the heart of Quixote’s disagreement with the world around him is the question of truth in chivalry books. At the same time, his niece and housekeeper, friends, barber, priest, and other people he encounters in his travels tell Quixote that chivalry romances are full of lies. If so, how is the theme of lies and deceit conveyed through the characters in this novel by Cervantes? Consider the lies the duke and duchess tell Sancho and Don Quixote, the “evil enchanter’s” deception, Sancho’s deceit to Don Quixote, or even Don Quixote’s imagined lies and fiction that he tells himself on his chivalric quest that justify his madness and what purpose does deception/lies serve in this novel?

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