Homework Questions

1. Like many heroes, Quetzalcoatl has a remarkable birth. What is unusual about it, and how does it affect his heroic image?
2. What are the tasks Quetzalcoatl performs, and how do these accomplishments affect his heroic image?
5. Like many heroes, Quetzalcoatl must confront tests of character in the form of temptations. What kind of test does he face?
8. How does Quetzalcoatl’s behavior affect his heroic image?
12. Why did the creators of this myth have Tezcatlipoca destroy Quetzalcoatl’s people?
14. The Aztec emperor welcomed Cortes and his men because he believed that Cortes was Quetzalcoatl. Why would he welcome Quetzalcoatl back to Mexico?

Caught by hair string:
1. Why is the hero of this myth described as a lazy and unattractive looking young man?
2. What is significant about the relationship between the chief’s son and the hero?
3. What is the role of the forest in the myth?
4. What is necessary for one to be able to acquire power in Micmac society?
5. What does the need for such power reveal about the Micmac people?
6. What would a person who hears this myth learn from it?
7. What type of power is available today? How does a person acquire it?

King Arthur:
1. Why did the creators of this myth begin the history of Britain by having Brutus, the great-grandson of Aeneas and the nephew of King Priam, build a second Troy where London now exists?
3. When the Greek hero Theseus is old enough to claim the throne of his father, the king of Athens, he pulls his father’s sword from beneath a huge rock. Sigmund’s father, Sigmund, pulls Odin’s sword from a tree. Arthur becomes king of Britain because he pulls a sword from a stone. What are the advantages of such proofs of kingship? What is the significance of these similarities?
5. Why did the authors of this myth not give Merlin perfect powers of prophecy? For example, why does he not warn Arthur about making love to queen margawse?
7. What tasks does Arthur perform that make him a great hero? What does each task contribute to his heroic image?
9. How do you think Guinevere feels about marrying Arthur? Does she love him, or is it a political marriage?
11. Why is it important that Lancelot is a good person as well as a good knight? How does his character contribute to his crime?
12. In what ways is Arthur the ideal king?
17. Does Mordred have any reason to lead a revolt against Arthur? Is he a good person with honorable and justifiable motives?
18.Lancelot and Guinevere are among the great lovers in literature. What aspects of their love affair are tragic?
22. Why does the myth end with the question of Arthur’s mysterious death? Does it add to or take away from the myth?