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TUES     1.31  Trial and Death of Socrates; Euthyphro
THURS   2.2  Trial and Death of Socrates; Apology
TUES     2.7  Trial and Death of Socrates; Apology
THURS   2.9  Discuss Paper #1
TUES   2.14  PAPER #1 DUE (14%)
Paper #1: 14% of your grade
Due: Tuesday, February 14
, at the beginning of class (no electronic copies—a hard copy, with pages stapled
together and numbered)
Requirements: 4-5pages (it may be longer, but it must be at least 4 FULL pages long); Times New Roman or
Garamond 12 Font only; double-spaced; 1-inch margins all around; MLA-style citation and formatting; no
outside research—just you, these texts, and the paper assignment, nothing else!!
1) In Apology, Socrates argues that he is not interested in “super-human wisdom,” but in “human wisdom” (31).
What does he mean? What is the nature of his intellectual project? What are his central concerns? (you might
consider how his search for meaning differs fundamentally from Gilgamesh’s).
2) In Apology, Socrates famously asserts that “the unexamined life isn’t worth living for a human being” (55).
How could this very well describe Gilgamesh for much of the epic? Yet what happens at the end of the epic to
change Gilgamesh? What is he searching for, yet, more importantly, what does he find?
3) Another famous maxim associated with Socrates is that we must “know thyself” and “hate hubris” (32). This
is not some feel-good hippie sentiment. Socrates urgently believed that ignorance and deficient self-knowledge
led to evil. Based on your analysis of both Plato/Socrates and Gilgamesh—what does he mean? How can we see
this demonstrated by both Gilgamesh and Euthyphro (and perhaps by people today who claim to know what is
pious and impious, good and evil, truth and untruth)?
Make an overarching argument, then develop this argument via direct, rigorous, and sustained textual
engagement with Gilgamesh and/or Trial and Death of Socrates. In other words, you must work directly with many
key passages, quotes, scenes from the text/s that help you to develop your central argument and subsidiary
points; and you must quote properly from our edition/s of the texts—no other edition/s is accepted. And see
MLA guidelines for how to quote poetry—Gilgamesh is an epic poem, and must be quoted as such (and maintain
any and all original notations and punctuation marks, including all of the weirdness in Gilgamesh—italics,
brackets, ellipses, etc.).
***See also the 2-sided handout on How to Write Critical Essays!****

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