21 January 2004 - 11:23 AM
Mangling the Classics
The statements below are extracted from the exams written by this semester's crop of future citizens and leaders. I weep for the future of the republic.
On the Aeneid:
To conquer the city of Troy, the Greeks had to capture a horse.
Beowulf dies while fitting the dragon. (For what? A ball gown?)
Dante is pursued by three beasts: the lion of violence, the leopard of fraud, and the wolf of incompetence.
On The Canterbury Tales:
Chaucer and his companions are going to see Thomas Beckett. They are going to tell him stories.
On a sonnet by Sir Thomas Wyatt:
In 'Divers Doth Use,' Wyatt says some men go pail and grown ...
On some Elizabethan playwright or other:
Mephostophilis is a character in Macbeth
On John Donne:
Donne says not to ask for whom the bells tolls because it could be you.
On Paradise Lost:
Milton's stated purpose was to 'assert internal prudence and to justify the ways of bad men.' (The correct quote is 'assert Eternal Providence/And justify the ways of God to men.')