Lesson 8: The Midterm Exam

Study Guide

1. Understand the plot structures of the fairy tales we have read; have in mind an allegorical interpretation of each tale and be ready to use them as examples when discussing the selections from Uses of Enchantment.

2. Re-familiarize yourself with Bruno Bettelheim’s approach to fairy tales. What benefit does he argue children can gain from having these stories read to them?

3. Be prepared to list, define, and provide examples for each of the four functions of mythology as outlined in Joseph Campbell’s essay “Mythological Themes in Creative Literature and Art”.

4. Understand the three major transformations in The Epic of Gilgamesh; these are explicated in the lecture notes and on the recorded lecture. Consider how these transformations explore the themes of Nature and Civilization.

5. Know the heroic code that defines life for the warrior fighting in the Trojan War.

6. Understand the three major transformation Achilles’ of the Iliad.

7. Be ready to compare and contrast Hector with Achilles, and Agamemnon with Achilles.

8. Understand the function of The Book of Songs in Ancient Chinese Culture, and know what Confucius claims one can learn from these poems.

9. Know the differences in the approaches of Confucius (Confucianism) and Lao Tzu (Daoism).

10. Know the function of Fate, the function of the Gods, the function of Athenian Theater, as they relate to Oedipus the King.

11. Be able to explain your understanding of Job’s suffering and how Yahweh’s voice from the whirlwind augments your interpretation.

12. Understand the differences and/or similarities between Job and Oedipus, and how they deal with the problem of human suffering.

13. Be able to discuss the function of Dharma and other basic features of the Hindu religion.


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