I stated at an earlier point that I would consider anything better than a C+ a moral victory on my core humanities paper. Well, apparently a moral victory was setting the bar too low. I got an A on the paper, with the professor considering my perspective original and fresh (is that what words they're using to describe bullshit these days?) Apparently by boiling Greek tragedy down to cheap lit-crit and writing the paper from the point of view of a jaded cynic breaking suspension of disbelief and taking characters at inhuman face value, I cast an entirely new light on the work. I just thought it was "not having a fucking clue what the hell I was talking about", but as long as the professor thought otherwise, who am I to complain? I guess it WAS original, though---who else would consider the object of the hero's true love and affection nothing more than a MacGuffin (and use that word several times in the paper)? I guess since nobody else tried that angle I must have looked like a visionary (plus, given 1600 words I was well able to defend and expand upon the point.)
My 4.0 remains intact...for now. I don't expect to keep it going, but every day it survives bolsters my confidence and lets me bank a few points for later.