HIS 111 Ramayana Paper Assignment





Traditionally, the Ramayana has been ascribed to a single author, Vālmiki (circa 300 BCE), but it is also likely that other oral traditions were cobbled together into the epic.  The Rāmāyaṇa in its long version consists of about twenty-four thousand verses in seven cantos, or books.  Fortunately for you, we are reading a reduced version!  I have always thought it pretty interesting that the monkey clan played such an important role in this epic, and so I settled on this image of Hanuman, the monkey king and Rama's devoted servant for this assignment's instruction.  A copper alloy figurine from the eleventh century (Chola period) in the southeastern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.  Photo credit petrozo.

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Read the Ramayana (in its entirety).

Answer the following question in a one-page paper:

Citing specific evidence from the Ramayana (not from the textbook), explain some of the characteristics of the ideal ruler in ancient South Asian society.

Before proceeding, you might wish to read the short notes and review the study questions on the Ramayana. You might also want to read the remarks by Ritu Verma on growing up in India with the Ramayana.  Check out the short video about this assignment.

Your paper must follow this format:

  • must have brief introduction and conclusion paragraphs (each not to exceed three lines); the introduction must directly respond to the assignment question and identify your analysis/thesis points.
  • font size 10 or 12 only
  • one-inch margins
  • double-spaced
  • page number citations for your quoted evidence
  • name, and only your name, at the top left of the paper
  • not to exceed one (1) page
  • You may consider submitting a draft of your assignment to your instructor for feedback before submitting the assignment for the grade. At times, you may be asked to rewrite your essay.  This is done for your own benefit and will result in an improved grade.

Please take a moment to review Charlie's History Writing Center (See the tutorial on the one-page paper.) for specific information on the writing requirements for the assignments in the course. There is also a good example of a one-page paper available that will show you how to structure your paper. Please check this short explanation of what it means to cite historical evidence.

Your assignment should be submitted on Canvas.



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