About This Chapter
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Other chapters within the CSET English Subtests I & III (105 & 107): Practice & Study Guide course
- About the CSET English Test
- CSET English: Overview of American Literature
- CSET English: Overview of British Literature
- CSET English: Overview of Philosophy
- CSET English: Genre and Form
- CSET English: Analyzing Texts and Other Media
- CSET English: Essay Writing and Rhetoric
- CSET English: Using Tools to Improve Your Writing
- CSET English: Grammar and Usage
- CSET English: Conventions of Research and Citation
- CSET English Subtests 1 & 3 Flashcards