Author Archives: megkwag

Madea; Sappho; Ancient Egyption Poetry; The Hebrew Bible

  1. Madea is a woman, but Euripides has presented her as a figure previously thought of as exclusively male–a hero. Analyze her character in the play with that of Achilles, and conclude with a judgement on whether or not you think Medea is a hero and why.

Madea and Achilles both have the same thought process. If we recall, Achilles was glory driven. He did not care what happened to those along his journey, as long as he got what he wanted. It took him up until it was almost too late to realize what he had been doing. Madea was very upset about her husband, Jason, marrying another woman. She did not care what happened as long as she could light a spark in Jason. She even killed her own children! As you can see, neither Madea nor Achilles were thinking clearly. They took advantage of what they had, despite those that they hurt along the way.

I don’t believe Madea was a hero. Yes, she stood up for herself and fought for what she wanted. However, her children didn’t have to be murdered. No matter how mad she was at her husband, she did not have to take the lives of her children just to get back at him. There is no justifying it. I’m sure there were other things that she could have done to get under his skin.



  1. Job (in chapter 31) makes the claim that his life has been virtuous and devoted to the worship of God, and so he does not deserve the calamities that have fallen on him. He asks God for an answer, but the voice from the whirlwind does not deal with his question at all. Why does Job accept God’s assertion of divine power (42) and not press for an answer to his question? Why is he satisfied with what he is given? Do you find the end of the dialogue satisfactory?

Job did not press for an answer from God because he was without a doubt, one hundred percent faithful to God. Even if he didn’t like a particular circumstance, he would find the positives behind it. In doing this, he proved to God how generous he was. The questions that Job was asked were rhetorical in God’s eyes. In speaking how he honestly thought, God threw great perspectives back into Job’s hands. He was very pleased with the way he had answered the question. He was satisfied with what he was given because it came from God. He believes that God wouldn’t give something to someone who wasn’t willing of it. I did find the end of the dialogue to be satisfactory! It showed me that even when you aren’t thinking positively, something great could come from it!

The Iliad

1.What are differences and similarities between Achilles’s relationship with his fellow Achaeans and Hector’s relationship with his fellow Trojans? Outline not only how these two warriors relate to those around them but to each other.
     In the Iliad, Achilles and Hector have many differences along with similarities. To begin with, Achilles (Archaean Army) and Hector (Trojan Army) are both very prominent people in each of their armies. They are very mighty! They both lead their fellow soldiers into battles, whether they are good battles or ones that don’t need to be fought.
Achilles is very full of himself. He is basically just driven for his own glory. He doesn’t care what happens to others, as long as he is happy at the end of it all. He just wants his name to be remembered. He is very strong, with superhuman strength. He has a great relationship with the Gods.
On the other hand, Hector tends to be more driven for himself and those around him. His character seems to run from confrontations at first. Unlike Achilles, he seems to be a bit of a coward. His fellow Trojans are able to walk all over him. They insult him, which in turn brings back his courage. This encourages him to finally stand up to those around him. He has deep love for his family.
In conclusion, even though Achilles and Hector are prominent people in their armies, they have different ways of life. It showed me that there is never a “right’ way to be when it comes to being a leader. Some qualities are great, while others prove not to be. But, at the end of the day, the good and the bad both shine through and give you a sense of who you are.


  1. The excerpt from Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried gives context for those of you who have not been in battle. It speaks to the breaking down of all known boundaries, such as good and evil, that occurs in war.
    Achilles breaks the Greek standard and religious observance of respect for the dead by dragging Hector’s body around. Even though Hector is his enemy, his acts would have been seen by a B.C. Greek soldier as sacrilege (violation). What is it that brings Achilles back to balance after his berserk episode, and what significance can this transformation have, what does it communicate?
    Tim O’Brien balances out the boundaries within war. He states, “The truths are contradictory. It can be argued, for instance that war is grotesque. But in truth war is also beauty.’ This is a perfect example of how you can see both the bad and good within the same thing. There’s usually a positive behind every negative. Sometimes, things are truly not as bad as what they appear to be.
    Achilles is brought back to reality when he sees Hector’s father, King Priam, mourning over his son’s body. He asks him to think about his own father and the love between them. I believe that Achilles was just blindsided by the war, that he didn’t think about what he was actually doing. Since he was very self-glory driven, he didn’t consider other individual’s feelings. When seeing King Priam in tears, it touched his heart and made him realize what was happening and what he had done.



  1. Achilles spends the first 18 books of the epic Refusing the Call. He even refuses the Embassy’s offer, a scene in which he proclaims an interest in a domestic life. This proclamation is interesting when compared to the circumstances of Hector in Book 22 when, as we he waits for Achilles to arrive for the final battle he knows he will ever fight, his father Priam and his mother Hecuba call to him from the gates of Troy. This scenes speaks to the inner-tug these warriors feel between two distinct codes of behavior: 1. The Warrior Code and 2. The Familial Code. The first code is dependent upon Honor and and Victory; the second on responsibility for offspring and spouse. Are these two codes mutually exclusive? Why or why not?
    The Warrier Code and the Familial Code are not mutually exclusive. One is not caused by the other. They are at different ends of the spectrum. Within the Familial Code, the family must be taken care of. It doesn’t need to involve the warrior code. For instance, Hector was very family driven. However, he drew a line between his family and his battles. He didn’t intertwine them. Hector didn’t have a choice, he couldn’t just pick between the two. Achilles also choose the battles over his family.


(1) Yes, I can identify the stages of the Hero’s Journey in the story of Gilgamesh. At first, Gilgamesh is a terrible ruler. He is arrogant, dominating, and brutal. Uruk’s people did not like him. They wanted someone to be created that would act as a counterweight for Gilgamesh, hoping that it would straighten him out. In turn, Enkidu was created. He was part wild animal and part human. When they Gilgamesh and Enkidu met, they were determined to destroy one another. However, they formed a tight friendship. They are almost like mentors to each other, helping one another with things they fall short on. They become too high on their horse, and Enkidu falls out. He passes away. This irks Gilgamesh! He then wants to begin his transformation of immortality. Finally, he returns to Uruk as a changed ruler.

(2) The Four Functions of Mythology are alive and active in the story of Gilgamesh. At each part within the story, Gilgamesh learns something about himself. He transforms himself little by little, depending on who he meets along his journey. At the end of the story, Gilgamesh has completely transformed. It represents the transitions of a human life, going from childhood to adulthood, and from adulthood to death.

(3) Gilgamesh had a very successful journey! He was able to turn his life around, based on his learnings of his encounters. The greatest part of his journey was becoming friends with Enkidu. Enkidu was able to teach him a lot about himself. Even though Gilgamesh failed to return with the Plant of Everlasting Life, he was able to gain more knowledge. Not returning it didn’t stop his life. It made himself, as a person, stronger. It shows us that even though we may fail at something, we always have the opportunity to take something from that failure and learn from it. Every step we take, gives us more knowledge for the next day.

The Hero’s Journey

I haven’t had time to sit down and watch movies for a long time, due to my busy schedule. I decided to think about my all-time favorite childhood movie, The Little Mermaid, and see whether or not it could follow the thread of The Hero’s Journey. In my previous teaching classes, we were always introduced new material using Disney movies, because they have so much hidden within the story itself. In turn, the Little Mermaid worked perfectly for this assignment!

I found that this movie has a very strong “call to adventure.’ Ariel, the little mermaid, discovers that there is a world above the sea. She wants to explore and see what the land holds. She has to helpers, Flounder and Sebastion. Her best friend, Flounder, is always by her side, excited to go on adventures with her. Sebastion, another close friend, is always there to help her with anything that she needs. Ariel faces a challenge when King Triton, Ariel’s father, does not want his daughter anywhere near the land. Ariel challenges her father. Next on her path, she meets Ursla, a very cruel sea witch, who takes advantage of Ariel. She makes the agreement that she will transform her into a human for only 3 days. If she steals a kiss within these three days, she will stay human. If not, she will turn back into a mermaid. Ariel has an amazing singing voice, who Ursla also steals in return for Ariel’s legs. Within the time of her being a human, Ariel meets a man named Eric. She falls hopelessly in love! King Triton notices that his daughter is not around the sea. He confronts Ursla, but is devastated when he can’t break Ariel and Ursla’s deal. Finally, after capturing his daughter, he notices how heartbroken Ariel is. King Triton transforms Ariel back into a human!


I believe that current cinema sometimes meets the human needs expressed in the four functions of mythology. Many movies these days have the same plot line. Many times, a woman is stolen, goes through terrible things, and then is saved at the end of the day. Scary movies throw too much material at you, that do not mean anything within the story. Yes, they make you wonder and get people hyped up, but they don’t meet any mythological needs. They are basically just written for the type of things that we like to see. Yes, movies can meet the four functions of mythology if they are scripted from old literature. Older stories used to serve a purpose, nowadays, they seem to be based upon the same script, just with different characters and different areas.



138Hello everyone!

I’m Megan Beaston. I’m a 21 year old who was born and raised in a small, middle of nowhere, town in Pennsylvania. (the GPS usually says that my address does not exist!) I have been living in Fairbanks since this past January, thanks to my husband who got stationed here for the Army. I love it here! I may be 4,000+ miles away from home, but the area reminds me so much of where I’m from. Everyone told us to be prepared for the extreme cold, but I would take this type of coldness compared to the east coast any day. It’s such a different type of cold.

This is my third semester here at UAF, if you include the summer semester. Prior to moving here, I attended Shippensburg University for three years as a middle-level education major with a concentration in math and language arts. However, UAF doesn’t have a middle-level program. Since I love math, I decided to be a math major! I’ve been thrown into a bunch of math and science classes, so taking this class will be something different! I’m really excited about not having to use a calculator for any assignments. I’m looking forward to reading material that I’m not used to.

Oh, and that’s my husband and puppy (Izzie) in the above picture! She is full of so much energy that I wish I had!

Looking forward to this semester!