Sophomore Summer Reading Assignment 2015

Sophomore Summer Reading Assignment 2015
Each incoming Servite sophomore must read Edith Hamilton’s Mythology, the introduction and parts 1-5.
Each sophomore is expected to read in full these sections, which deal with the mythological subject areas of
Greek and Roman gods, creation stories, and heroic figures. As well, several tales recount adventures and
love stories that set the cultural foundation for the student’s junior and senior year studies in American and
British literature. Most prominently, the account of the Trojan War, its causes and the stories within its
narrative, begin in Hamilton’s book. Homer’s account of the conflict in The Iliad will also be part of the
sophomore year, so the Hamilton content – as a whole – represents a pivotal sophomore year target, both
for literary growth as a student and for cultural literacy in perpetuity for the future faith-filled leader that
sophomore shall become years after he leaves Servite.
This reading load is approximately 400 pages. The scheduling of such a task is the decision of the individual
learner, but the English department suggests a summer schedule of half an hour of these readings, four days
a week, for five weeks, for any student to complete this load. Of course, the entire work may be read in a few
sittings by advanced, aggressive, and/or procrastinating readers.
Sophomore Summer Writing Assignment 2015
After completing the summer reading assignment, the sophomore is to answer these questions below in
short answer essay format. Each work is to be completed in ink – blue or black only – pencil or other colored
ink will not be accepted. Responses need not be double spaced, but the writer is asked to skip lines between
responses. The first five questions demand longer responses. The department suggests 50-100 words as a
guideline. The last twelve questions allow for shorter responses. In all instances, the sophomore is expected
– per the Servite standard – to use complete sentences in all responses. Bullet points or fragments will result
in significant point deductions on this assignment.
SHORT ANSWER ESSAY QUESTIONS: these questions require brief, succinct responses or one to three
1. From where does the word panic come?
2. What is the connection between the tale of Pyramus and Thisbe and William Shakespeare?
3. What talent is associated with Orpheus, and what role does that play in his death?
4. Why did Pelias send Jason on a journey?
5. What favor did Phaethon ask of his father?
6. What did Bellerophon do to make the gods angry?
7. Why is Prometheus being punished? Specify the details of his eternal plight.
8. Who is Cadmus, and how does he come to build the city of Thebes? Detail the events in this tale.
9. What did Tantalus do to win the enmity of the gods for himself and his posterity?
10. What prophecy is told to Oedipus, and to his parents?
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTIONS: these questions require well-written, thoughtful responses. A short
paragraph of several sentences will be required for these prompts.
1. Identify the twelve great Olympians and list their Roman counterparts. Be sure to mention the animals,
plants, cities, and/or causes or arts that are associated with each one.
2. Olympians to Superheroes ~ Select a corresponding, modern era superhero from comic book or popular
culture whose powers reflect a Greek or Roman god or goddess. Discuss how mythology and comics are – in
these characters – similar and different. Use clear examples.
3. What does the story of Narcissus teach the friar about love and selfishness?
4. Hercules is famous for overcoming obstacles with brute force. The Greeks were not inclined to admire
bullies and brutes, however. Yet, Hercules is Greece’s greatest hero. Based on Hamilton’s detailed account,
why should Hercules be regarded as hero OTHER than for his might?
5. Narcissus and Pygmalion prove to be very foolish in their rejections of Aphrodite. Based on what their
stories tell the friar, argue how Paris is equally as foolish to choose Aphrodite in the “Judgment of Paris”.
6. At Servite, the simple definition of piety is the visible respect for God and family, per the first and fourth
Commandments. Given this rationale, how are Tantalus and Niobe respectively guilty of impiety?