Roman Lit (CLAS 328) Paper Topic 2
As you know, the Stoic philosopher Seneca served, first, as a tutor and, later, as advisor to the infamous Roman Emperor Nero. In fact, Seneca is credited with suppressing Neros worst behaviors, at least until Neros corrupt nature became uncontainable. These frightening behaviors are outlined in lurid detail in Suetonius Life of Nero.
For your second essay, you are going to compose two letters. Letter #1 will be from Seneca to Nero, and Letter #2 will be a response from Nero to Seneca.
In Letter #1, Seneca (i.e. you) will critique Neros bad behavior based on the information provided in Suetonius and the philosophical doctrines contained in the volume of Senecas philosophical writings. In Letter #2, your Nero will defend or at least try to justify his behavior based on the character analysis found in Suetonius. So, for example, you might have Nero use his lineage or upbringing to defend his bad actions.
Your essay should be longer than 4 pages but less than 5 pages, 12 pt., Times New Roman, double- spaced, standard margins. You will be graded on the following (in no particular order):
** Correct length
** Quality of writing, with particular emphasis on the clarity and organization of your ideas (not to mention excellent grammar, lack of typos, etc.). Important: even letters should have a thesis statement.
** Quality and creativity of your writing and the ideas contained therein. The best papers will show a mastery of Seneca and Suetonius, both in terms of style and content.
** Your writing should resemble that of Seneca (we dont have examples from Nero, so do your best here).
** Use of evidence: I want to see lots of citations and, in particular, quotations from the text. When in doubt, cite. You will never be marked down for citing too much, but you will be for citing too little. Cite evidence using parenthetical citations, e.g. QUOTATION HERE (Suetonius, Nero p. ##).
** ALWAYS italicize book titles, e.g. Suetonius, Nero not Suetonius, Nero.
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