650-900 word essay in MLA format
This essay should be a 650-900 word essay focusing on the assigned readings from the course. It is due by 11:55 pm ET on Sunday of Week 8.
This should be a close reading essay, and should use as evidence primarily passages from the work or works that you discuss. You may not use ANY outside sources without the instructor’s approval.
The essay should be in MLA essay format (see the sample essay here) and should have the student/teacher cover letter (which should answer these questions) as the first page. A works cited entry and in-text citations for each text discussed are required.
- Analytical essays should be focused on making a debatable claim about the work in question; creative essays should be focused on presenting a work or kind of work from a different angle. Informational essays or essays consisting of summary are not appropriate for either type of essay. Both types of essay should be supported with discussion of specific passages from the text(s) on which the essay is focused. The essay grading rubric can be found here for the analytical choices, and here for the creative choices.
- Who Painted the Lion? Chaucer’s Wife of Bath, as she describes her own life and marriages in her prologue, points out the problem that stories about women seem to have been mostly written by men: “Who painted first the lion, tell me who?” (Chaucer 816). Many of these, she opines, are negative, and the implication is that it would be different if women were writing the stories themselves. Choose 1 female character from the tales (not the prologues) in The Canterbury Tales or from any of our other earlier readings, and make a claim about whether this female figure is positive, negative, or neutral. Use only passages from the story itself (and, if you’re writing on a part of The Canterbury Tales, the tale-teller’s prologue) to support your position.
- The Return of Greek Mythology: The setting of “The Knight’s Tale” is ancient Greece, and it may be tempting to compare this story to The Iliad. Think back to our Week 2 reading and compare the heroic ideals depicted in The Iliad with the heroic ideals depicted in “The Knight’s Tale.” Can we read “The Knight’s Tale” as being a direct reflection of the heroic ideals we find in The Iliad? Why or why not?
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- Ruling Well in the Real World: Choose one leader from US history and evaluate him or her in terms of EITHER Machiavelli’s model of an ideal prince ORConfucius’ model of a good leader. Support your thesis with quotations of and references to specific passages from the chosen author’s work and with specific details from these politicians’ careers. Some minor historical research is allowed for this topic.
- Good Rulers in Fictional Works: Choose one leader or character from our earlier assigned readings (from Weeks 2-5) and evaluate him or her in terms ofEITHER Machiavelli’s model of an ideal prince OR Confucius’ model of a good leader. Support your thesis with quotations of and references to specific passages from the two chosen works.
- Judging Other Tales: Choose one important character any one of the works assigned in Weeks 2-5 (choose a single tale if using a work from Weeks 4 or 5), and evaluate him or her using the moral structures set up by Dante in our reading from The Inferno. Leaving aside the character’s religion (which would automatically relegate some characters at least to Limbo), would this character be hell-worthy in Dante’s view? Why or why not?
- Make your own topic: create your own critical question to answer in your essay. If you choose this topic you must contact the instructor for approval by Thursday of Week 8. Essay submissions with unapproved topics will be returned.
Literature homework help