B Block Humanities I Honors 2018 - 2019


College Board.  Sample:  New SAT optional essay example.  New SAT Essay Prompt / begins March 2016

Dante's Inferno Information:  Maps, etc.  "The World of Dante"

Everyman.  Anonymous Medieval morality play:  Begins on page 1.

Forster, E.M.  "The Machine Stops"

Miller, Arthur.  "Tragedy and the Common Man"

Plato.  "The Allegory of the Cave"



Below are some links to Greek plays.  You may use a sentence spoken by Chorus or a Chorus Leader (Choragos) as the thesis of your critique.

Electra by Euripides (prose)


Hippolytus by Euripides (prose)


Iphigenia in Tauris (verse)


Bacchants by Euripides (prose)


The Trojan Women by Euripides (prose)


Alcestis by Euripides (prose)


Hecuba by Euripides (prose)


Andromache by Euripides (verse) 


The Suppliants by Euripides (verse)


Orestes by Euripides (prose) 


Electra by Sophocles (prose)


Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles (verse)


Philoctetes by Sophocles (verse)


Ajax by Sophocles (verse)


Agamemnon by Aeschylus (verse)


The Choephori by Aeschylus (verse)


Eumenides by Aeschylus (verse)


The Persians by Aeschylus (verse)


Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus (verse) 


The Seven Against Thebes by Aeschylus (verse)


The Suppliants by Aeschylus (verse)


Reading / Assignment Schedule

Assignment                                    due on                                    date


"The Machine Stops" pt 1 (photocopy)  due on                    Wed, 8/29

Pt 2                                                        due on                    Thurs, 8/30

Pt 3                                                        due on                    Fri 8/31

Vocabulary quiz                                    on                              Friday, 9/7

Iphigenia at Aulis to p. 336 (photocopy)  due on                Tues, 9/11

Essay test                                            on                            Wed, 9/12

Iphigenia to p. 348                              due on                        Thurs 9/13

Medea to p. 50 (photocopy)                    due on                    Wed, 9/19

Finish Medea                                        due on                        Fri 9/21

Study guide due / A. Miller                due on                            Wed 9/26

Essay test                                            on                                Mon 10/1

"The Ledge" (photocopy)                due on                            Tues 10/2

Vocabulary quiz                                    on                            Fri 10/5

Antigone (photocopy) 185-199            due on                    Tues 10/9

200-218                                                due on                    Wed 10/10

FINISH Antigone                                due on                    Thurs 10/11

Oedipus the King, p. 976-990 (line 570)  due on            Wed 10/17

Oedipus p 990 - 1006 (line 1215)        due on                Thurs 10/18

FINISH Oedipus                                due on                    Fri 10/19

TEST:  Greek Theater and Drama        on                    Mon 10/21

Proposals due for choral ode critique   due on                Wed 10/23

Vocabulary quiz                                       on                    Thurs, 11/1

Choral Ode Essay due                        due on                Fri, 11/2

Mock Trials:  Iphigenia and Medea        on                Wed, 11/7

Mock Trial:  Antigone                            on                Thurs, 11/8

Revised Schedule / Snow Day on Fri, 11/16

"Don't Go Overboard" / Horace (photocopy) due on   Monday, 11/26

"Bad Parenting" / Juvenal (photocopy)    due on        Wed, 11/28

Choral Ode Essay / optional rewrites  due on            Fri, 11/30

Vocabulary quiz                                        on                Wed, 12/5

All presentations / "Getting Right With God"  on            Fri 12/7

Everyman to p. 48  (photocopy)                                  due on         Tues, 12/11

Finish Everyman                                    due on            Thurs 12/13

Study guide due (chivalry)                    due on              Fri 12/14

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight pp. 33-49 (photocopy)   due on    Mon 12/17

Finish Sir Gawain                                    due on            Tues 12/18

Wife of Bath's Tale   (photocopy)            due on            Wed 12/19

Vocabulary quiz                                        on                Thurs 12/20    

Dante's Inferno Cantos 1-4                    due on                Wed 1/2

Cantos 5-8                                            due on                Thurs 1/3

Cantos 12,13,14,18,19                        due on                    Fri 1/4

Cantos 20, 21,23,24                            due on                    Mon 1/7

Cantos 25, 28, 32, 33, 34                due on                    Wed, 1/9

B Block Mock Trials

Note:  The below legal opinions are short summaries only.  The information provided in them is supposed to give you ideas what to write about.  However, simply copying down these legal opinions as support in your final exam essays is not enough, as you’ll need to demonstrate a specific knowledge of names, places, and incidents in your final exam essays.

                                                                                    Legal Opinions:


1.    Iphigenia at Aulis by Euripides:  Jury decided that this play took place in an UNJUST universe.


a.     Euripides Iphigenia at Aulis took place in an unjust universe because:

-Iphigenia was a young 13-14 year old who was unfairly put in a difficult position by her father.

-Iphigenia was lured to Aulis under false pretenses of marrying the Greek warrior Achilles.

-Even though Iphigenia wasn’t “killed,” she wasn’t allowed to see her family or friends again.


b.     Other side’s best argument:  Kings have to make sacrifices and make tough decisions; they can’t just have the good parts of being a king, as they have to deal with the tough choices too.


2.    Medea by Euripides:  Jury decided that this play took place in an UNJUST universe.


a.     Euripides’s Medea took place in an unjust universe because:

-She killed her children

            -Jason’s crime didn’t warrant murder.

            -Medea got away with no punishment


b.     Other side’s best argument:  The gods seemed to be on Medea’s side.


3.    Antigone by Sophocles:  Jury decided that this play took place in a JUST universe.


a.     Sophocles’s Antigone took place in a just universe because:

-Creon got a fair warning from Tiresias

-Everyone who died (ex:  Antigone, Haimon) made their own decisions to die of their own volition.

-Antigone was a traitor, so she deserved the punishment she received.


b.  Other side’s best argument:  Antigone was trying to do the will of the gods, and the gods are above any man.

B Block:

1)         Choral Ode Analysis:  Optional Rewrite requirements:  I will average the two grades together.


In order to earn points, you must give me THREE things:

a)         your new critique with all changes you make highlighted.  If you add in a comma, hi-lite it on the new copy.  If you add in a quote, hi-lite it.  If you remove a sentence, hi-lite where it used to be.  I will only be looking at hi-lited changes, so be thorough in order to earn back points.  Use hi-lited items on the rubric to guide your revision. 

b)         your rubric must also be given back to me.  I will add points to individual categories.

c)          you must also give me your original graded critique.


Due date:  Thursday, November 29

Essay test MONDAY on Euripides’s Medea.


Advice:  Not allowed to use play or notes!


Paragraph One: 


-begin immediately with thesis / don’t waste time with intro


-follow up with blueprint / avoid “listing” / ANSWER the question implied by prompt here, briefly but specifically…… (the “opinion” should be present in each blueprint sentence).  Separate sentences preferred, one per body paragraph



Body paragraphs:


Topic sentences:  You’ll most likely have to focus each body paragraph on a different character (or a different relationship between two characters).


Topic sentence, like a blueprint sentence, must contain a supportable opinion that clearly confronts the prompt.


References to text must be specific as opposed to general.


Ideally, each body paragraph will not be a bloblike general discussion…… it will contain a clear series of separate examples separated by transition words.


***Give thought to how you order body paragraphs….. avoid unnecessary repetition!


Maximum # of body paragraphs:  3



Conclusion:  Complete one, even if it’s brief

Humanities I

Mr. Tarmey

                                    “Tragedy and the Common Man” / Arthur Miller


As we continue our unit on tragedy, we will now take a closer look at tragic heroes.

Arthur Miller’s famous “common man” tragedy, Death of a Salesman, gave Mr. Miller the right to discuss what a modern day tragic hero would look like.  Later this week we will read a short story about a modern tragic hero:  a Maine fisherman.

Some of the below questions ask you to paraphrase.  This means “put difficult language into simpler words while keeping the meaning intact.”


Other questions will ask you to think or predict.


1.     In paragraph 4, Mr. Miller claims that a tragic hero is “ready to lay down his life, if need be, to secure one thing – his sense of personal dignity……..and his underlying struggle is that of the individual attempting to gain his “rightful” position in society.


a.  Apply this quote to Medea, making sure to explain what her “rightful place in society” is, as well as how she “struggles to gain it.”



2.     a.  Paragraph 5:  Explain:  was Medea “displaced” from this position in society, or was she “attempting to attain it for the first time”?



b.  Define:  indignation:


c.  Explain in what way Medea demonstrated “indignation.”



3.     a.  Paragraph 6:  define “passive.”


b.  Paraphrase:  “Only the passive, only those who accept their lot without active retaliation, are ‘flawless’.”  Most of us are in that category.”  What does Miller mean by this?  Apply to Medea.



4.     Paragraph 9:  “Insistence upon the rank of the tragic hero, or the so-called nobility of his character, is really but a clinging to the outward forms of tragedy.”


a.  Paraphrase:  What does Miller mean by this?




5.     a.  Paragraph 10:  Remind us:  What was “Medea’s chosen image of what and who she is in the world?”



b.  Think:  In the modern era, why would the common man be aware of “the underlying fear of being displaced”?



6.     a.  Paragraph 11:  Define:  “posit”:




b.  What was the “evil” in Medea’s environment “posited” by Euripides?




7.     a.  Paragraph  12:  Define Medea’s “tragic right”, according to Miller’s definition.  What would her “flowered personality” be like?




b.  What is the “wrong” in Medea’s society?  How does it “suppress” her and “pervert the flowing out of her love”?



8.     a.  Paragraph 13:  According to Arthur Miller, modern literature takes “psychiatry” into account much more than ancient literature. 


Clarify what Miller means by the last sentence in this paragraph (“If all our miseries…”)


9.     a.  Paragraph 14:  Paraphrase the first sentence of this paragraph (“And if society…”):  What is Miller’s point about completely blaming society for a tragic hero’s ‘cramped lives”?




10.  a.  Paragraphs 17 – 19:  Sum up:  Miller claims that tragedy is more “optimistic” than “pessimistic.”  How does he back up this claim?  How in the world can something with a “sad ending” by considered “optimistic”?



11.  a.  Paragraph 19:  Define “pathos”:



b.  Based on the definition of “pathos,” explain why Miller feels “pathos” cannot be part of a tragic hero.



12.  Paragraph 21:  Think:  Choose a “common man” career or occupation.  Then, see if you have the ingredients for a “modern tragic hero.”



Answer the following questions about your invented common man / tragic hero:


a.      What’s his common man career?



b.      How could he have a “fear of being displaced from his role in society”?



c.      What could be a factor in his environment that could “limit his freedom” or “displace him from his rightful image of himself”?



d.     What sort of negative behavior could he exhibit, in his attempt to cling to his “rightful image of himself”?


e.  How could this negative behavior hurt himself and/or the people around him?

Vocabulary Quizzes:  Information and Advice


-all words come from our readings / you’ll be quizzed on the words before you encounter them in our readings-


-as we review, feel free to write down whatever advice I offer regarding spelling and usage


-on quiz day I will choose 4 words….and you will write a sentence for each.


-the sentence must prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you know the definition of the word (sentence must contain a context clue)


-honors:  word must be spelled correctly or entire sentence is incorrect

-cpa:  if word is misspelled but your sentence proves that you know the definition, half credit


-you must use the word as the correct part of speech or entire sentence is incorrect (use adjectives as adjectives, nouns as nouns, etc)


-you may pluralize nouns, change adjectives to adverbs, change verb tenses….. AS LONG AS YOU SPELL THEM CORRECTLY


-you’ll only have about a minute to write each sentence….. so planning your sentences in advance will help keep you from falling behind.


-getting a definitive context clue into the sentence is the hardest part….. let’s practice!


Sample sentences:  Which would be marked incorrect and why?


1.  The babysitter became frustrated when she realized the children were intractable.


Intractable could mean “dirty” in this context.  How to fix?


2.  Steve was grumpy all day, but no one could mollify him.


Mollify could mean “find” in this context.  How to fix?



Sample sentences:  Which would be marked incorrect and why?


1.  The babysitter became frustrated when she realized the children were intractable.


Intractable could mean “dirty” in this context.  How to fix?


The babysitter became frustrated when she realized that the screaming, stubborn children were going to be intractable.

 2.  Steve was grumpy all day, but no one could mollify him.


Mollify could mean “find” in this context.  How to fix?


Steve was grumpy all day and in need of soothing words, but no one could mollify his temper.


Mr. Tarmey


                           FIRST ESSAY TEST:  Advice


Because this is your first essay test, I will count it only three times rather than five.


Your purpose for the essay test is to note similarities between Forster’s “The Machine Stops” and Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave.”


You will be allowed to use your copy of “Machine Stops” AS WELL AS a copy of “Allegory of the Cave.”


Paragraph One: 

-thesis statement

-“blueprint summary” = briefly explain (as opposed to “list”) the three specific similarities you will explore in your body paragraphs, preferably devoting a separate sentence to each parallel.




Above and below information has been put in class website!


Website has a link to “Allegory of the Cave”







Topic Sentences and Body Paragraphs:

-three body paragraphs

-TOPIC SENTENCE for each body paragraph notes the specific similarity / parallel the paragraph will discuss.  This will be the opinion your paragraph supports.  Topic sentences should NEVER be simple plot-related facts.

-body paragraph should support the topic sentence by offering a detailed, in-depth discussion of similarities between the works, focusing on the “whys / hows” behind the parallels you draw and the similarities you note.

-Use transition words (also, in contrast, similarly, etc.) appropriately. (what type would be appropriate, and where in the paragraph should it go?)

-because you are paralleling two works, this means that each body paragraph will discuss both works.  Don’t bounce back and forth between them; to keep a strong structure, try to devote a ½ paragraph to each.  Paragraph should not be an unfocused general discussion / “blob”

-the more accurate specifics you include, the higher you’ll score.

-write in present tense / avoid first person and second person (you and I, me, we, us, etc)

-sentence fragments and run-on sentences cause deductions.




NOTE:  There ARE ways to organize central paragraphs in a logical (or illogical) order.  Give some thought to it.





Concluding Paragraph: 

Simply restate what you’ve said in your opening paragraph using different words.  Leave a solid lasting impression-



Organization category (presence of thesis, blueprint, proper topic sentences, logical organization, number of body paragraphs) counts ONCE


Content category (depth, thoroughness, specific references / proper nouns without summarizing plot) counts TWICE


Conventions category (grammar) counts ONCE




Thesis statement:  “Plato’s Allegory of the Cave” and Forster’s “The Machine Stops” share several similarities.

(briefly mention the similarities here, in “blueprint”; one sentence for each comparison)


Body paragraph (3)


Topic sentence:  Must be a supportable opinion that clearly explains one specific similarity, not a “fact” about one or both stories.



Bad topic sentence = Plato’s allegory is set in a cave while Forster’s story is set under the earth. = a “fact” that does not need supporting.


Good topic sentence:  The underground chamber in Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” can be paralleled to the underground cells  in Forster’s “The Machine Stops.” = a supportable opinion.