Classics 28 Discussion Question Answers and Notes

Classics 28 Discussion Question Answers and Notes -...

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Participation Week: Week 1 2. According to Lawrence and Jewett’s The Myth of the American Superhero , America has been able to create their own revised version of the “classical hero” by changing the standard monomyth of a hero’s coming of age into that of a hero’s selfless sacrifice and service for the redemption of the world around them. When one thinks of heroes, generally their fantastic, reality-escaping feats and supernatural abilities come to mind. Whether it be Spiderman, with his abilities to shoot spider webs and fly around the city, or Superman, with his super strength and ability to fly over cities, one thing’s for sure – heroes are “great.” When compared to Joseph Campbell’s definition of the classical monomyth, the American superhero seems to fit pretty well. According to Campbell, the hero “ventures forth […] into a region of supernatural wonder” and later emerges victorious, “with the power to bestow boons on his fellow men.” In the standard story of heroicism, good always prevails and the hero defeats his enemy with flying colors. This same principle generally applies to American superheroes as well, save but the last part. The American monomyth differs from the classical in that “the superhero recedes into obscurity,” showing that these American superheroes had selfless motives in their heroic actions. However, the American superheroes are, after all, SUPER heroes. Not many people in the world (at least, not anyone that I know of) possess the abilities to climb up vertical walls or shoot lasers out their eyes. The fact that these heroes, who may as well be walking among humans, possess exaggerated supernatural qualities may simply serve as an outlet. Such crazy, far-fetched, dream-like heroes may instill hope or simply serve as entertainment as opposed to the traditional heroes, who had morals to teach through the stories of their own trials. Most, if not all, American superheroes choose to hide their identities from the world, living their superhero lives in secret, uninterested in the attention or power doing so might give them. Instead of receiving credit for saving the world and keeping things in order, American superheroes, these awesome beings with powerful abilities, choose to suppress themselves and live in secret. Sometimes they are able to lead out normal lives, denying being superheroes, living with the possibility of being discovered every day. Many great men, like Spiderman, Batman, and Ironman cannot obtain their loves because they know how big of a responsibility their powers and their obligations to protect their worlds are. Week 3 Q: What does Achilles say to Odysseus in the underworld? A: First of all, Achilles expresses his lamentations of being dead, telling Odysseus to “never try to console [him] for dying” (Book XI, line 488). He then proceeds to ask news of his “proud son, whether or not he went along to war to fight as a champion” and of his father, “stately Peleus, whether he still keeps his position” (Book XI, 492). Finally, Achilles expresses his wishes to strike down such men who might dare to “keep [Peleus] away from his rightful honors” (Book XI, 503).
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