Mid-Year Exam 2015-16

European Humanities

Mr. Spragins

 

 

Part One: Comprehensive Grammar/Vocabulary Test (20 points) (20 minutes)

 

(This section of the exam will be closed book.)

 

Part Two: Essay Section (80 points) (90 minutes)

 

(The rest of the exam will be open book, open notes. The only rule is you have to write your own essay in your own words and complete it during the time allotted for the exam.)

 

Take care to write the very best essays that you are capable of producing. Make sure that your essay presents a clear thesis statement, that you organize it into a persuasive argument, and that you find good, specific evidence from the texts to support your points. Quote the text!  

 

 

  1. Essay on Voltaire’s Candide (40 points) (45 minutes)

 

 

Explain the philosophical purpose of Voltaire’s satire on the moral beliefs of the Enlightenment in Candide.

 

As you generate a thesis statement about Voltaire’s point, see if you can answer the following questions:

 

  • What is his judgment of the philosophical belief in optimistic determinism?
  • How does Voltaire account for the existence of evil in the world, both human vice and natural evil?
  • What is his vision of human nature? Good or Evil?
  • To what degree can we reform society and redress the great problems that face humanity?

 

 

  1. The Cosmic Salon (40 Points 45 minutes)

 

The second essay question on the exam will ask you to choose a group artists, philosophers, and characters from the literature that we have studied this semester and have them respond to philosophical questions raised by Shakespeare’s Macbeth.  Each of the thinkers will evaluate Shakespeare’s depiction of human nature in Macbeth

 

Below you will find a list of artists, philosophers and characters arranged in groups according to historical period (Pre-Socratic Greek, Periclean Athens, The Roman World: Stoicism, Judaism and Christianity, The Medieval World, The Renaissance, and The Enlightenment. You will need to choose a number of them to participate in your cosmic salon discussion of Macbeth.  

 

See Responses to The Problem of Evil.

 

 

Choose two from each of the major groups in the following list:

 

 

Pre-Socratic Greece:

 

Homer

Achilles

Odysseus

Dionysus

The Cyclops

Thales

Anaximander

Anaximenes

Heraclitus

Pythagoras

Parmenides

Zeno

Empedocles

Anaxagoras

Leucippus

Democritus

 

The Golden Age of Athens:

 

The Sophists:
Protagoras, Gorgias, Hippias

Socrates

Plato

Aristotle

Themistocles

Thucydides

 

Thespis

Sophocles

Oedipus

Teiresias

The Sphinx

The Roman World:

 

Moses

Yahweh

Adam and Eve

Noah

Job

 

Jesus

Saint Peter

Saint Paul

Saint Augustine

 

Livy

Lucretius

Cicero

Marcus Aurelius

 

The Medieval World:

 

Beowulf

Grendel

 

Chaucer

The Knight

The Wife of Bath

The Prioresse

The Monk

The Friar

The Merchant

The Parson

The Miller

The Reeve

The Summoner

The Pardoner

The Renaissance World:

 

Ptolemy

Machiavelli

Copernicus

Kepler

Galileo

Bacon

Descartes

Spinoza

Pico della Mirandola Shakespeare
 

Macbeth
Shakespeare
The Witches

 

 

The Enlightenment World:

 

Hobbes

Newton

Locke

Leibniz
Malagrida
Wesley
Voltaire on Newton
Pope
Voltaire on Lisbon
Rousseau (More on Rousseau) Hume (More on
Hume)
d'Holbach

 

Jaques the Anabaptist

Candide

Pangloss

Voltaire