Honors 202 006: Discovering Literature--The Appeal of Pastoral                                                 Fall 2005

Tompkins G123.  M, W, 1:30-2:45
Section 006
Dr. Morillo

First Paper Assignment

Length: 5 pages, computer-printed, double-spaced type, standard margins
Due: at the start of class, Wednesday, Sept. 14.

Choose one of Virgil's Eclogues that you think is responding to one or more of Theocritus' Idylls, and write an essay explaining how Virgil uses his knowledge of the meanings of pastoral in Theocritus to write his own pastroral poetry. Consider where Virgil looks most directly to be using Theorcritus as a model and what he does to modify that model. Consider what aspects of Theocritan pastoral are most significant in Virgil's work; how he draws on Theocritus for ideas about pastoral while pushing pastoral in new directions. 

This is an assignment to measure your skill at close reading and comparative analysis. You need only your eyes and brain and the Idylls and Eclogues to do the assignment well. I would much rather know what you think of the poems, and how you interpret them, than how you can paraphrase what anyone else says about them. If you do wish to use what Gifford says about either Virgil or Theocritus you certainly may, or if you wish to use other information about authors and contexts from reputable sources, you may, but it is not necessary. If you do use research sources be sure to document your sources in Modern Language Association (MLA) style  This style of reference keys a parenthetical bit of shorthand about a source, typically (Author page) to an alphabetical Works Cited page placed at the end of the writer's text.