• Who wrote the work? When? How? What else was going on at that time historically and artistically? Is the
genre (poetry, narrative, etc.) significant?
• In what ways is the work representative of its culture, including historical, artistic, and thematic
perspectives? How influential was the work in its culture and other cultures?
• What are the larger ideas or issues that the work presents? What do the critics have to say about the
significance of the text and its themes? Are these ideas particular to – or peculiar to – the culture or do they
represent more universal themes? (How do you know?) Can you cite examples of works from other
cultures that deal with the same ideas?
• What are some of the foreign elements (like religion, social morals, and linguistic differences) that you
notice about the work? Do they prevent you from understanding or appreciating the work and, if so, how? If
you were able to surmount those difficulties, how did you do so? Are there similar works from our culture?