Oedipus the King questions to consider:

Perseus and the Gorgon's Head - After reading the two versions of this story, please answer these questions:
  1. What details were different between the two stories? (Just name a couple significant ones) Do these differences cause one story to be better than the other?
  2. Describe the tone of the two stories. How did each tone effect each story and make it seem different?
  3. Which version of the story did you enjoy better? Why?
  4. Is it okay for a writer to adjust the details of a story, like Hawthorne has done, for his or her own purposes? Consider this as a broad question where you might take into account movie directors who change stories in order to make books into films.
  5. What life lessons might Greeks and others use this story to teach people? (That is, what kinds of lessons or morals might be embedded within the story?)


A senior literature class involves a great deal of reading (which isn't too surprising) and response to that reading. Students enrolled in this class are also receiving a writing credit, so this course will be heavy in the writing assigned as well (that is, it will be taught like it is an English 12 course).

Previous to the short session:

Because the session we are using is so short, some of the work for this full credit will have to be done outside of our classroom time. I have set apart some reading and some writing that could most easily be done on your own without too much guidance.

Independent reading
  • You will be required to read two books of your choosing and write in a reading journal about what you have read (five entries about each book, for a total of 10 entries in the reading journal. Use this page for suggestions about what to write about).
  • To earn an A or B on this assignment, one of the books should be from these reading lists (there are three there--notice the tabs at the bottom of the lists. If you have trouble with them let me know and I'll email them to you). The other can be something of your choice (that you haven't read before, that is more than a 100 pages, and that is not a children's book). If you choose to pick two that are not from these lists, that is fine, but I won't assign it a grade higher than a C, just so you know.

  • I'll need you to write four formal writing assignments. You may choose from the list on this page but must write the starred essay.

That is all you have to do on your own. The rest we will work on together in class.

Writing in the morning

Literature study I: Archetypes

In this unit, which we will conduct before lunch, we will examine what an archetype is and how we see it emerging in early as well as later literature. As we examine the texts we will also pull from our understanding of the basic elements of literature (see the lit terms glossary).

Texts to be read:

Unit essay: Please write an essay comparing/contrasting characters or situations in Othello and Oedipus Rex.

Literature study II: Examining our World through Literature

In this unit we will see how literature and our reading of it allows us to examine our own world. It prompts important questions, raises concerns, and helps us evaluate what is right and wrong, important and trivial, beautiful and ugly.

Texts we'll read:
  • How Much Land Does a Man Need by Leo Tolstoy
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • The Interlopers by Saki

  • Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelly
  • The Unknown Citizen by W.H. Auden
  • My Last Duchess by Robert Browning