Literature (Ramayana, Gilgamesh, Odyssey)


  1. Compare and contrast Odysseus with Gilgamesh or Rama. Whom do you feel is more heroic and why?
  2. All three of our heroes undertake a journey. What are some similarities and/or differences in at least two of these quests? What are the heroes searching for?
  3. Compare and contrast at least two of the following female characters from two different epics: Shamhat, Ishtar, Siduri, Sita, Kaikeyi, Athena, Circe, Calypso, Sirens, Penelope. You might want to consider if these female characters are mainly subservient to the male characters or express a certain degree of power or agency in the epic. Do these female characters fall into one of the Madonna/Whore categories or challenge these stereotypes?
  4. Evaluate the role of the gods in 2 of the epics. Which are most powerful? Which most involved in the life of the mortals (human beings)? How would you describe the gods: caring, cruel, fickle, noble, omnipotent? — you supply the term that works. What does the characterization of these gods reveal about the cultures of the people who worship them?

Sample Solution