What are some of the views of men and masculinity in the myths? What do these depictions show us about what each culture values?

Below, you will find a list of essay questions.  Please review your notes from class and/or discussion board posts.  To complete the essay exam, you must:

  • Answer a minimum of questions
  • Each answer must be at least 1 page long following MLA style formatting
    • 1 inch margins
    • Size 12 Times New Roman Font or the equivalent
    • Double-spaced text

You can use as many myths and stories as you like, but each answer must compare and contrast material from a minimum of two different lessons (i.e. two different cultures).

  • Failure to compare and contrast stories from at least two lessons will result in a loss of points
  • Failure to sufficiently compare and contrast will result in a loss of points
  • Failure to analyze the stories and myths will result in a loss of points

All answers must incorporate the literary readings–the actual myths and stories that you read for class.  They cannot simply focus on the cultures, but must analyze what the literary readings say/show about the topics.

  • Include appropriate quotations, passages, and examples to support your ideas
  • Proofread and edit carefully before submitting
  • Submit the completed exam to the appropriate Essay Exam dropbox

*Note: if there is topic on the essay exam that you are interested in exploring further, you can expand on that question and turn it into your Final Project due at the end of the semester.


Topic #1

  • What do the myths show about the idea of order vs. chaos and/or good vs. evil and what does that say/show about each culture?

Topic #2

  • Water comes up in many myths.  What are some of the purposes of water and what does its occurrence show us about the culture’s beliefs, views, and/or fears/desires?

Topic #3

  • How do the characterizations of women vary across myths?  What do these characterizations show about the role of women in the different cultures?

Topic #4

  • What are some of the views of men and masculinity in the myths? What do these depictions show us about what each culture values?

Topic #5

  • Compare and contrast creation myths.  What do these myths show us about each culture’s beliefs?

Topic #6

  • How are views of fertility (related to both crops and birth) similara and/or different across the myths?

Topic #7

  • How is humanity depicted across the myths? What are some of the similar traits and/or flaws humans have?

Topic #8

  • What role does magic play in the myths, and what does that role show us about the culture?

Topic #9

  • Compare and contrast the views of death and afterlife in the myths.  What do these views show us about the cultures?

Topic #10

  • What do the battles between good and evil show us about the desires and fears of each culture?

Topic #11

  • How do the myths explore ideas about life and living a good life, and what do these views tell us about what each culture values?

Topic #12

  • Explore how either good or evil is characterized across the different stories.  What does this characterization show us about each culture?  What does the culture value, fear, desire, etc. . .
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