Write a well-developed essay of 4-5 paragraphs on ONE of the topics below. Be sure to refer to the texts to support your main ideas. You might note that these topics correlate with those discussed in the Course Introduction.  1. Compare and contrast Gilgamesh and Rama as heroes. How does each hero embody the values of his culture? You may draw from the Discussion topics on this subject, but your essay will develop and detail more fully this examination of heroism.   2. Study carefully the scene between the despairing Gilgamesh and Siduri, the winemaker and celestial barkeep (654-700). What is the nature of the counsel that she gives him? Through close analysis, discuss at least two of the ideas presented in her advice to the Sumerian hero. Does her advice seem a reasonable solution or response to Gilgamesh’s despair? Does he by the end of the epic learn the wisdom of her words?  3. The British Hindu organization JansariSevak has this to say in regard to Sita: “Sita, the princess of Ayodhya, is looked upon today by all Hindu women as virtue incarnate and the ideal of Indian womanhood.” Would she also be seen as the ideal heroine in American or Western terms? Defend your position on this topic with detailed reference to the text.   4. From our readings of Genesis, Gilgamesh, and Ramayana, choose at least two works and discuss how the divine beings regard and interact with mortals. Are the god-figures mainly caring for their creation? or somewhat fearsome? or maybe a bit of both? Which deities seem remote and unfathomable? Which more humanistic and accessible? Which are fair and understandable in their dealings with humanity? Which more capricious? These are some ideas, but you can choose the terms of your comparison and contrast.

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