The poems Catullus wrote to the woman Lesbia are among his best known. How would you characterize their affair?
Catallus describes a conflicted and stormy affair with the women of Lesbia. Sexual tension is evident in his poems, which have a strong erotic content. Therefore, his affairs were passionate and physical.
If the gender roles were reversed and the woman were the narrator, do you think this series of poems would read differently? Explain.
The poems would read differently not because their content would have changed but because they would subvert social norms. As a male, Catallus is allowed, almost expected to write such explicit details about his physical affairs including references to love and hatred. Females would have been more subtle because of the widespread social persecution they might suffer if they admitted to promiscuity or tumultuous romantic interludes especially with married people.
Catullus ends up calling his lady a whore. Would you say this is a typical male reaction when a woman breaks off a relationship?
Cattalus' reaction is not typically male; it is typically human. Any time a person feels rejected he or she uses psychological defense mechanisms. Calling the ex-partner a whore or any other name is a way to ameliorate hard feelings. Catallus is simply expressing his anger and frustration through his lyrics.
What kinds of shape changes occur in Ovid's "Metamorphoses"? For what kinds of reasons do these changes occur?
Ovid describes transformations of creatures from one form to another, or shape shifting. Also, the physical world changes shape rapidly. The changes that take place are due to the wrath of the gods, punishing human beings for their transgressions.
Which of the stories did you like best, and why appreciated the stories in book one because of their evoking the controversial topic of rape, the relationship between power and sexuality, and sexual tension.
Some of these myths are rather gruesome or shocking. Did any parts of the readings surprise you?
Ovid's potent imagery is shocking, especially because of the age of the writing. Violence and rape are pervasive, illustrating the dark depths of human consciousness.
Many people say the lifestyle described in the Sermon on the Mount is impossible for anyone to achieve. If this statement is true, why do you think Jesus sets such a difficult standard?
The lifestyle is set forth as an ideal. Jesus presents the ideal so that human beings continually aspire for greatness. Even if total perfection is impossible, at least human beings can work hard to become better than they are now. Jesus reveals what is possible in the human spirit.
In your own words, explain the parable of the lost son.
The father forgives his lost son in spite of his transgressions. The parable demonstrates the power of forgiveness while at the same time illustrating the difference between ethical and unethical behavior.
At the Passover meal, which later came to be known as the Last Supper, what prophecies does Jesus make?
At the Last Super, Jesus predicted that one of his friends and disciples would betray him.
According to the Koran, how are girls and women to be treated?
Girls and women are to be treated with kindness and respect.
How do the Old and New Testaments of the Bible fit into the prophet Mohammed's new vision?
Mohammad's new vision retains respect for the peoples and the prophets of the Book while at the same time critiquing the failure of either Judaism or Christianity to present an accurate vision of righteous worship.
How does the sura about Jonah differ from the Old Testament account of Jonah?
The Muslim version of Jonah portrays him as being far more faithful to God, whereas in the Old Testament Jonah disobeys God.
In what ways are the Koran's and the Old Testament's accounts of Joseph different from each other? In what ways are they similar?
The stories of Joseph in the Old Testament and in the Koran are similar: Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery because of his ability to interpret dreams. God helped save him and Joseph rose to a prominent position of power. Although mostly similar, the description of God's intervention and of Joseph's…