Discuss the creative background of the ancient Greeks and Romans and their impact upon Western Civilization.

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  • Discuss the creative background of the ancient Greeks and Romans and their impact upon Western Civilization.
  • Be sure to include Greek and Roman examples of their contributions to philosophy, literature, theater, architecture, and sculpture, and how those contributions to art have had lasting effects on the Western world.

Writing guidelines:

PURPOSE: Your critical response involves analysis, evaluation, and critical thinking. A Response is not just an “opinion paper.” You need to make claims about Greek, Roman, and modern western culture and most importantly, you need to give examples from course reading, videos, and/or outside sources. Don’t just discuss the production – use your critical thinking to support your claims with evidence!

FORMAT: paper should be 5 pages in length, and double-spaced with one-inch margins. (Don’t worry, if you discuss all aspects of the prompt, you should have no trouble getting to 5 double-spaced pages)

PLAGIARISM: To write with originality and depth, you must use your own voice and resist the urge to plagiarize. This assignment requires little to no outside research, and is meant to be pure analysis of the information by you alone. Feel free to quote from your text, course readings, course videos etc. Just be sure to cite properly. Copying from sparknotes.com or any of the college essay sites is easily detectable and takes away your chance to trust yourself and make observations about your analysis of the information.

STRUCTURE: Make sure you include the basic information early in the opening of your paper: cultures you will be discussing; types of art you will discuss; tie that info to the overall Western world. The body of your paper must include specific examples from Greek and Roman Arts (philosophy, theatre, sculpture and architecture), a discussion of the style and themes, the context (historical background info) in which they were created and your evaluation of their impact on the Western world at large. Then Conclude.

The following questions may help you to analyze the course information. Your paper should address all of these questions.

  • Explain the context (historical background) of the ancient Greeks and Romans. What kind of lives did they lead socially, economically, politically? How do you think these aspects of their lives affected the way they approached and produced art (philosophy, literature, theater, sculpture, and architecture)? Does social, political and economic status affect the way we approach and produce those same types of art today? How so?
  • Compare and contrast the philosophical thought of the Greeks and Romans. What kinds of questions did they ask? What were they interested in explaining about human life? How did they view the world overall? What do those views say about their culture? How have their contributions to philosophy lasted into the modern Western world?
  • Discuss how the Romans both copied and transformed Greek theater. How do you think theater of the modern Western world compares? We have obviously made changes to theater since then, but what similarities are still present to this day?
  • Describe the style of Greek sculpture and of Roman sculpture. What were common subjects of their respective sculptures? What was the purpose of their respective sculptures? Did the Greek model of the ideal man/woman affect the way the Western world views beauty? If so, in what way? For how long? What kinds of sculptures does the Western world erect today? What do all of these examples say about our cultures?
  • Describe the style of Greek and Roman architecture. Who did these cultures build for? What advances were made? Are modern buildings influenced by Greek or Roman styles?

Again these questions are not meant for short answers in order. You must organize your answers, critique, and analysis in an essay.


Grades for writing in this course (Outlines, Production Responses, and Exam Essays) are determined by your adherence to guidelines, deadlines, and thoroughness of analysis, writing ability, mechanics, and clarity of logic. For all written assignments, the student should accomplish each of the following goals:

A: Well organized (use of introduction, conclusion, paragraphs with a single main point, evidence from analysis, and transitions); sentences smooth and carefully crafted; virtually no errors in punctuation, spelling, grammar; words chosen with precision; language fresh, vivid, and concise; addresses all the specifics of the prompt.

B: Well-organized, but paragraph structure sometimes disjointed; a few awkward passages and errors in mechanics; language sometimes general, may lack freshness or precision; no errors glaring or highly distracting; addresses most of the specifics of the prompt.

C: Organized, but paragraphs often disunited or misplaced; shows logical plan but writing is wordy, general, imprecise, or trite; sentences awkward but meaning is clear; articulation fair, and volume just loud enough; errors in mechanics but not highly distracting; addresses some of the specifics of the prompt.

NC: meaning not clear in many sentences due to poor construction; language muddled and unclear; errors in mechanics are distracting; does not address the specifics of the prompt.