Dr. M. Diane Krantz
Assignment: You are to write a paper by narrowing one of the topics given below. I will expect the paper to include critical sources (at least five/*8, NOT including your text or reference works such as the bible or an encyclopedia, and at least two NOT from the Internet), to show the analytic ability of an upper division major, and to be relatively free of problems of form (poor organization, immature prose, incorrect spelling, punctuation, etc). Consult the grading sheet I distribute to ascertain the base level of writing that will be expected for a given grade. Feel free to consult with me especially about the analysis to see if you are on the right track. The paper should take at least three weeks of significant work to be in its polished form. I will provide a sample paper for the class to give some idea of the level of work I believe you can do.
April 04: Mandatory draft workshop. The paper should be virtually finished and ready to submit to me at this point. Failure to attend the workshop will have serious consequences in terms of the grade.
April 09: final draft accompanied by at least one other draft significantly different from the final one.
Length: 12 to 15 typed pages/*18 to 20 (a minimum of 2500/*3750 words not including the bibliography)
Format: Please do not include a title page. All papers must be typed. Pages should be double-spaced and numbered. The upper right hand corner of the first page should have your name, the date, and the course number. Standard margins are 1" top, bottom, and sides. Please do not right justify. Left justify only. Also, please give the paper a title. Bibliography in MLA format.
1. Do a close reading, using explication, for small parts of a work and interpret a particular aspect of one of the long poems or romances we have read (theme, imagery, character, structure, etc.) in terms of the overall meaning of the work. Use critical sources to support your thesis. The paper may contain endnotes and must contain a bibliography.
2. In light of the literary continuity
we have claimed from the Anglo-Saxon period to the high Middle Ages in England,
as well as from the Fourteenth to the Fifteenth centuries, compare and contrast
two /*two or three works in the same genre (two poems, two romances, two plays, etc) but
from different periods to find evidence of such continuity or debate the continuity
in terms of the differences in the works.
3. Consider the role of the hero in an Anglo-Saxon work, in a Fourteenth Century work, and in a Thirteenth or Fifteenth Century/(*both) work. Do these heroes have anything in common with each other? Do they have anything in common with our ideas about what makes a hero today? (An alternate version would be considering one of the Arthurian heroes from different periods and forms of the legend).
3. Medieval literature often opposes--and sometimes reconciles--apparent opposites: the secular and the divine; Eve and Mary; satanic villains and perfect heroes; men and women; warriors and peace-weavers, etc. Choose such an opposition in one work we have read, and analyze the relationship between the two elements of one such pair. You might want to consider structure, imagery, setting, and characterization.
4. Analyze a text with respect to how it reflects or refutes a particular cultural, historical, scientific, or religious idea that we have studied. A story with a married couple might reflect medieval ideas on the role of women. Differing characters in a single work might represent differences in the Medieval Theory of Humors. A hero might show what was expected of the ruling estate.