Ch 4: CSET English: Literature of the Ancient World

About This Chapter

Brush up on your knowledge of ancient literature with our online video lessons. Use the quizzes to assess your grasp of the material, and get an idea of what kinds of questions are included on the CSET English Subtest I.

CSET English Subtest I: Literature of the Ancient World - Chapter Summary

The video lessons included in this chapter can prepare you to answer questions about ancient literature when you take the CSET English Subtest I. Some of the topics of discussion are listed below:

  • The Iliad
  • The Odyssey
  • The Aeneid by Virgil
  • Greek theatre: Tragedy and comedy
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh
  • History of the alphabet from cuneiform to Greek writing
  • The invention of writing

Instructors in these video lessons can familiarize you with some of the key works written during this time period. The self-assessment quizzes at the end of each lesson can help you determine how well you know the material.

Objectives of the CSET English Subtest I: Literature of the Ancient World Course

The CSET English Subtest I is the first of four exams you'll need to pass before becoming licensed as an English teacher in California. Test questions evaluate your knowledge of two content domains, composition and rhetoric plus literature and textual analysis.

This latter domain includes 40 of Subtest I's 50 multiple-choice questions, and covers some of the same topics found in the Literature of the Ancient World chapter. On this part of the exam, you might be asked to identify ancient literature as one of several significant literary periods or interpret epic poetry and Greek theatre in light of the historical contexts in which they were written. You might also be asked to distinguish between the characteristics of comedy and tragedy.

7 Lessons in Chapter 4: CSET English: Literature of the Ancient World
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Iliad: Greek Epic

1. The Iliad: Greek Epic

This lecture traces the history of Greek epics. It then examines the central themes of 'The Iliad': Xenia, Achilles' wrath, and his quest for immortality. The plot of 'The Iliad' is summarized and attention is drawn to themes from the Sumerian tradition.

The Odyssey: Greek Epic

2. The Odyssey: Greek Epic

This lecture provides a rough outline of the exploits of Odysseus in Homer's epic poem ''The Odyssey''. You'll learn plot details about this epic poem, in addition to hearing about how this important tale relates to Greek culture and literary works throughout history.

The Aeneid by Virgil

3. The Aeneid by Virgil

This lesson explores Virgil's 'Aeneid'. It consists of a brief plot synopsis. We stop along the way to look at a few important scenes and offer analysis where necessary.

Greek Theatre: Tragedy and Comedy

4. Greek Theatre: Tragedy and Comedy

This lecture examines the function of theatre in Greek culture and religion, with special focus on the Athenians. It then explores the three different sorts of Greek theatre: satyr plays, comedy and tragedy, citing specific examples. Finally, we study the impact of theatre on Western civilization.

The Epic of Gilgamesh

5. The Epic of Gilgamesh

Witness the Epic of Gilgamesh, a story of adventure, love and friendship. This long poem will help us examine the hallmarks of civilization for a Sumerian and the importance of dreams. We'll also cover the Sumerian contributions to the epic form of literature.

History of the Alphabet: From Cuneiform to Greek Writing

6. History of the Alphabet: From Cuneiform to Greek Writing

This lecture follows the development of writing, from the pictographs of proto-cuneiform to the symbolic phonemes of cuneiform and hieroglyphics. Then from the abjads of the Phoenecians, Minoans, Hebrews and Arabs to the complete alphabets of the Greeks. It explores the limitations and strengths of each development and draws modern parallels.

The Invention of Writing

7. The Invention of Writing

Writing, the original IT: This lecture covers the limitations and obstacles of aural transmission. It describes the invention of Cuneiform in the fertile crescent. Finally, it explains how writing enabled literate societies to dominate their pre-literate neighbors.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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