THE ODYSSEY

Assignment In our lectures on the Odyssey our discussions about spousal relationships have focused on couples. For introductory purposes this makes sense, since the Odyssey features a husbandwife pair as its main characters. Yet, one of our fundamental assumptions is that readers of all sorts stand to learn a lot about personal relationships through a close and thoughtful reading of the Odyssey. What about single persons? For this essay think about what nonmarried persons stand to learn about long-term, exclusive, marrige-type relationships. Imagine that the Office of Student Life at The Ohio State University is putting together a booklet on relationship advice based on famous works of literature. They have commissioned you to write the section on Homer’s Odyssey and they want to know: According to the Odyssey, what kind of spouse should a single person be looking for? What kind of potential spouse should a single person strive to be in order to gain the attention of another would-be spouse? Answers to this question will likely talk about homophrosyne (though they don’t have to); but it is not enough to say, “Single persons should look for homophrosyne.” Think deeper, define your terms, and be specific. With this thematic focus and imaginative frame, in this essay you must answer the following question: What is the most important lesson that single persons stand to learn from the Odyssey? The essay must state its thesis in a short introductory paragraph, followed by a few body paragraphs actually making the argument. As part of its evidence the essay must cite specific passages of the Odyssey at least three times (not necessarily quote, but cite), using book number and page number in the Mandelbaum translation: 2.30 2 book 2, page 30. You may only use the Odyssey as evidence. Further details are below. For more tips on writing this type of essay, a post-writing checklist, and student examples from essay 1, see the relevant documents on Carmen

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