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Terence, this is stupid stuff

Terence, this is stupid stuff

by A.E. Housman

Terence, this is stupid stuff Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Is it okay to run away from your problems every now and then? Maybe just for a night? How does Terence feel about that strategy?
  2. Does the whole fable of King Mithridates make sense to you? Does it seem like an effective and exciting way to end the poem? Why or why not?
  3. Is life really mostly sad, or is that just a question of perspective? Do you think this poem has a basically pessimistic outlook on the world?
  4. Does Terence seems like a funny guy to you? Do you think the poem does a good job of mixing sadness and humor? Or does it mostly seem sort of grim? Why do you think so? 
  5. What's the point of Terence's drinking story (lines 29-42)? Did you feel like you knew him better after it was done, or at least understood his point of view more clearly? Why or why not?
  6. Does art really have the power to make bad things hurt less? Has a poem (or a song or a book) ever made it easier for you to get through a hard time? How did it do that? 
  7. Can you compare the feeling you get when you eat your favorite food to the feeling you get when you read your favorite book? Are those things anything like each other?

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