[Great Work of Literature] Short essay, 7-8 paragraph total

| June 12, 2016

[Great Work of Literature] Short essay, 7-8 paragraph total

Part I. Reflective Analysis

Choose 1 of the following prompts and write a 4-5 paragraph essay that addresses these issues. Your essay should present the reader with a clear argumentative thesis statement and use specific textual examples to back up its claims. Use your chosen quote to support these claims. Include a parenthetical citation that identifies author and page number, e.g. (Boccaccio 1430); (Hesiod 158). 40 points. – ONE QUOTE REQUIRED

The practice of storytelling is a significant theme in the texts we’ve studied in our course. Examine the function of storytelling within one of the following texts: The Odyssey, Decameron, Pillow Book, Canterbury Tales, or Cortes’ letter to Spain. You may consider the following questions in your essay: Does the telling of stories create chaos or order, and how? How does storytelling help to develop a character’s individual identity? What’s the difference between storytelling and lying? between storytelling and history-telling?

Although all cultures and societies strive for an ideal of justice, that idea has changed throughout time and from place to place. Examine the concept of justice in one of the following texts: Antigone, Bhagavad Gita, Divine Comedy, or Montaigne’s “On Cannibals.” You may consider the following questions in your essay. In what context is justice defined: political, moral, family, religion? Who benefits from the fulfillment of justice? What is the difference between justice and revenge? between justice and duty?

In the pre-modern world, poetry held a significant place. Examine this role in one of the following texts: Theogony, Metamorphoses, Classic of Poetry, Classical Sanskrit poetry, or Divine Comedy. You may consider the following questions: How would you describe the language of poetry? Where does the poet get his/her inspiration? What are the poet’s goals? What subject matter is most fittingly expressed poetically?

Part II. Close reading: You will choose 2 of four excerpts from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. For each excerpt, write one paragraph in which you explicate one image, linking this image back to a significant theme in the play overall. 20 points. See example below


Act III Scene 2


‘Tis now the very witching time of night,

When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out

Contagion to this world: now could I drink hot blood,

And do such bitter business as the day

Would quake to look on. Soft! now to my mother.

O heart, lose not thy nature; let not ever

The soul of Nero enter this firm bosom:

Let me be cruel, not unnatural:

I will speak daggers to her, but use none;

My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites;

How in my words soever she be shent,

To give them seals never, my soul, consent!

In this passage Hamlet describes the words he will speak to his mother as “daggers.” He has been asked by his father to spare his mother from harm or shame, but throughout the play he can’t help but express his anger at what he perceives as her betrayal of him and his father. Hamlet is good at speaking (as is demonstrated when he recites monologues with the troupe of actors), but he is hesitant to enact his revenge with physical violence. He seems to wish that he could solve his problems with words. Yet, he realizes that the foul murder of his father has already gone beyond the scope of words alone.

Part III. Thematic Analysis: You will write two paragraphs in response to a question asking you to examine one aspect of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Topics may include the following:

Death, and its reflection, Life


Character Development

Deceit and appearances

Mystery and the unknown

Lying and literature/drama

Chaos v. Order



p.s: CLEAR sentences please, and myy professor is very sesitive with PLAGIARISM.

Thank you.

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