English Literature Essay

19Jan 2022 by

Choose from the topics listed below (or create your own original topic) and write a 3-4 page essay in response. Its not necessary to use any outside sources in crafting yourresponses as the primary purpose of this first essay is to show me that you havecarefully read & contemplated the literature and that you can make solid criticaljudgments based upon evidence you see in the reading. Your essay should beformatted according to the proper conventions of MLA style: (typed, double-spaced,include a works cited page listing works from the text only, and additionally provide acreative title). Your essay should develop a strong, clear thesis and address all thedemands of the particular topic you select. This is a critical essay, so be careful not tomerely summarize the works, and dont simply string together quotations. Naturally,you want to support your assertions with specific evidence from the works soincorporate carefully selected quotations when appropriate as support for yourargument but remember that quotations do not release you from the responsibility ofcreating a sophisticated analysis.List of Potential Topics:1) Choose a single character (or perhaps youll want to do a comparison of a couple ofcharacters) from Drydens Absalom and Achitophel and provide an interpretation ofthe poem in which you weigh that character’s situation and then justify whether or notyou empathize with their actions (even in those instances where they demonstrateflaws).2) Of the three genres that we read of John Dryden, (i.e. the psychological drama of Absalom and Achitophel, the mock-epic, Mac Flecknoe, and the ode of A Song for St. Cecelias Day, justify what you believe to be the genre that best characterizesDrydens achievement as a writer? Which, for example is the best methodology forrelating social commentary or expressing the struggles & triumphs of the humancondition? You could write on any one of these or do a combination of the variousworks in which you compare/contrast the advantages of each.3) Addressing all four excerpts from Pilgrim’s Progress provided in our text(“Christian Sets out for the Celestial City,” “The Slough of Despond,” “Vanity Fair,”and “The River of Death and the Celestial City”), provide an explication of Christiansadventures that: 1)offers an intelligent, sophisticated interpretation of the moral lessonyou feel that Bunyan intended to impart to his readers in each scene, and 2) commentbriefly (perhaps on the concluding page) about whether you find the preachy,didactic tone of the piece to be refreshing & captivating or intrusive & off-putting. Inother words, do you find Bunyan to be a writer in touch with the human condition ordoes his righteous piety place him out of touch with secular/worldly ideas?4) Provide a close reading of Essay on Man and/or Essay on Criticism in whichyou establish Popes place as a nature poet (in the romantic sensei.e. nature as aliving, breathing entity that interacts with man as opposed to the neoclassical notion ofnature as simply the static background against which we live and move)

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