Purpose: To extend your knowledge of the works of a specific writer or genre or period of history.
Assignment: Respond to one of the questions below. All sources should be documented using MLA format (not footnotes) as well as cited in a bibliography. Plagiarized papers will fail.
Option II: Analysis/Comparison: Extend your understanding of a literary work we have read in class by comparing it to another work written by the same author or by another author who deals with the same ideas, characters or plots. For this assignment you must use two primary sources. Additional critical sources are optional and must be acknowledged. All sources should be documented both on a Works Cited page (your bibliography) as well as in parenthetical citations for any information whether quoted or paraphrased that is taken from a source.
Options to Choose From:
1.Othello: A very frequent relationship in many of Shakespeare’s plays is the one between father and daughter. Compare the relationship of Brabantio and Desdemona with that of any other father daughter pair in Shakespeare. Suggested pairs include Shylock and Jessica (The Merchant of Venice), Lear and Cordelia (King Lear), Kate and her father (Taming of the Shrew), Juliet and her father (Romeo and Juliet), Ophelia and Polonius (Hamlet), Prospero and Miranda (The Tempest). In each case is the relationship founded on love or possessiveness or both? Is the bond too strong? Use detail and quotes to make your case.
2. Othello: Many tragedies, both by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, feature a character called a Machiavellian manipulator, who plots treachery against his king or master. Compare the character of Iago with a similar character in a Shakespeare tragedy. Suggestions include Claudius in Hamlet, Macbeth, and Richard III. You might include a discussion of the characters’ personalities, their methodology, the corrupt environment in which they operate, or the reasons why they ultimately fail. For this topic you might want to compare Iago with a modern equivalent, for example the protagonist of Netflix’s House of Cards.
3. Candide: Read Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Find one important similarity in the way Voltaire and Swift criticize one aspect of society or humanity. Or look at the way each of these authors treats his female characters. Are both writers misogynistic?
4. Kafka: “The Metamorphosis” and Tolstoy’s “The Death of Ivan Ilych” are both critiques of the middle class family. Find the several similarities between the two stories. Which is the more critical of the two works? Compare the deaths of the two protagonists. What do they have in common? How do they differ?
5. Kafka: Compare the father-son relationships in “The Metamorphosis” and Kafka’s The Trial.
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