Write an essay comparing two pre-modern English texts to each other in a meaningful way. One of the texts should be from our syllabus (i.e., any of the readings that Dr. Baechle has assigned this semester), while the other text should ideally be one that we did not read. This second text can come from our Broadview Anthology textbook, or it can be another one that you know of and enjoy, or else think would be relevant. Still, I ask that you choose a text written between AD 500 and 1800 for your second text (one that falls within the historical scope of this course). Feel free to ask for my help if you cant find a second text! Furthermore, if you find yourself in a tight spot and cannot find a second text from outside the course, I will allow you to choose a text that weve read in our class, but you must obtain my approval first (just email me the two texts youd like to write about and the topics youd like to discuss). If your second text is also from the syllabus, I do not want you to simply rehash a discussion we had during the semester:
Tell me how the concepts of love, femininity and consent in The Passionate Shepherd to His Love compare to those found in John Donnes Elegy XIX (19).
Your analysis must cover at least one theme/image/idea from your selected texts in great detail. If, for example, youre analyzing consent as it is treated in the poems of Marlowe and Shakespeare, tell me how these two poems address the subject: do they discuss consent in the same way? Does Shakespeare understand consent in a dramatically different way from Marlowe? Do the ways that Marlowe and Shakespeare treat consent influence how they depict masculinity and femininity? These are the sorts of questions you should ask yourself while reading so that you can explore them more fully in your paper.
Your paper must be between 500 and 700 words in length. Writing more than 700 words is unnecessary and a waste of your valuable time over Thanksgiving Break and during the last week of classes, so please endeavor to keep within this limit as best you can. Papers that do not reach the 500-word minimum will have their final score lowered by one letter grade.
Make sure your paper has an introduction, body, and short conclusion.
I do not want a summary of these texts. A couple of brief sentences describing them at the beginning of your paper may be a nice way or orienting the reader, but write your essay under the presumption that your audience (me) has read both texts already. Given the length of this assignment, if you were to summarize both poems/books in a paragraph, that would sacrifice nearly half of your papers content stating information that I can gather from reading the texts myself.
Please use either MLA or Chicago style citations for this assignment. If you dont know how to use either of these citation styles, the Internet has many great resources (such as Purdues OWL for MLA formatting). For MLA, this means including a header, title, page numbers, correct margins, double-spacing, in-text citations of the texts, and a works cited page (which should only consist of the two texts you are discussing). Chicago style uses footnotes instead of in-text citations and has its own set of formatting rules. Im not asking you to cite any secondary sources for this paper because I want it to be entirely your work, but I do ask that you cite page numbers or, for poems, line numbers when you quote or paraphrase from the works. If you have any questions about citations, formatting and the like, feel free to ask me
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