1. “Much art, perhaps most art, perhaps all art is connected with sex, in some extremely general way.” Iris Murdoch
Relations between the sexes, between men and women—often disguised as love, or marriage, or adultery, or gender roles—are always a central concern of politics. And, as the philosopher and novelist Iris
Murdoch points out, literature in its various forms usually deals with these relations.
Write a detailed essay in which you compare and contrast the political aspects of relations between men and women in the works that you choose to discuss. In your essay, discuss not only political themes such as
utopianism and realism, rulers and ruled, nature and convention, but also the relevance of different literary forms such as comedy and tragedy to the presentation of such themes. Cite specific passages from the
works that you discuss.
The Assembly Women -
take over the general assembly by tricking the men, Praxagara
Wants everyone to be equal in income, sex, and material objects
Dress like men to take over the government
Women have always been held in private, but with political participation they are brought into power
Lysistrata – sex strike
Because the men have been corruptly using the city’s funds so Lysistrata wants to get rid of that
Eliminates sexual and material pleasure
Lysistrata argues that the War is a concern for women especially and she adds her two cents as to how the city should be run, drawing an elaborate analogy to show that Athens should be
structured as a woman would spin wool. Lysistrata tells the Commissioner that war is a concern of women because women have sacrificed greatly for it—women have given their husbands and
their sons to the effort. Lysistrata adds that it is now difficult for a woman to find a husband.
The Scarlet Letter – adultery, double srtandard, treatment of men and women
Hester is raised above the hoi polloi at both the beginning and end of the story
“height” of her shame” on the scaffolds
Women are held as prizes, nothing much more
Women are for pleasure
2. Religion and politics can be understood as different approaches to defining law and justice. The tension between the differing demands of religion and politics is a central theme of many great literary works.
Referring to specific scenes, characters, and philosophical or political view in the works that you choose to discuss, write a detailed, well-organized essay in which you describe and evaluate the differing religious