You are expected to read the “Essay Requirements”, included as an attachment with this assignment. Please read through and familiarize yourself with these requirements, as there are penalties for any of the guidelines that are not followed.
*Please note, no revisions of essays are accepted. Once an essay is graded, the grade is final.
This final project will require you to gather research material, analyze it, evaluate it, and bring it together to act as support for your writing. All options require strong critical engagement with both the focal primary text(s) and with the required peer reviewed sources.
General Requirements for the Project:
All submissions must:
- use 3 peer reviewed sources in addition to whatever primary texts they discuss (and these sources must be used, actually cited, in the essay, not just listed in the works cited at the end)
- be 1000-1500 words long
- must be original to this class and assignment (no submissions from other courses and or previous forums are allowed)
- be in MLA format and use MLA style citations (see The APUS Library MLA Guide for MLA formatting models; most of you sources will probably need to use the “Journal Articles” model)
BE CAREFUL that you do not create a cut and paste essay of information from your various sources; your ideas are to be the focus of the essay, and the research should only supplement and support your ideas. Also, take great care not to plagiarize; if in doubt, cite the source. See the sample essay for an example of an MLA formatted essay.
Please save your essays under your own last name in the following format: Jones_Essay1
*use your own last name, of course.
DISCLAIMER: Originality of attachments will be verified by Turnitin. Both you and your instructor will receive the results.
Topic Choices for the Research Project
Choose one of the following prompts to guide your project.
- Classifying The Merchant of Venice: The Merchant of Venice is a troublesome play to classify in the usual Shakespearean categories of comedy, history, or tragedy. Though it ends with several marriages, and therefore matches the usual pattern of a comedy, it also contains some very dark and problematic elements, such as Shylock’s essentially forced conversion to Christianity. How do you think that we should view this play? Is it really a comedy? Is there any way to argue that it is a tragedy? Be sure to clearly define your understanding of tragedy and comedy; for some helpful sites, see Comedy and Tragedy by David L. Simpson of DePaul University, and the Comedy and Tragedy pages by Lisa Schnell of the University of Vermont.
- Gender Issues in Pygmalion and The Importance of Being Earnest: Describe Eliza in Shaw’s play, and discuss how Eliza is treated by others within the play. Does she appear to be marginalized? What about the portrayal of the female characters in Wilde’s play? Do these plays reflect issues that women may have faced during this time period? To answer this question, you may use one or both of the plays assigned during week five.
- Satire in The Importance of Being Earnest: Oscar Wilde is known for his satire, and The Importance of Being Earnest is no exception to Wilde’s usual mode of satirical writing. The effect of satire will change, however, depending upon the audience, and one of the fascinating things about this play is that the people Wilde satirizes are also the people he expects to be watching the play. Why does Wilde satirize the viewers who will be buying the tickets? What kind of reaction might he be aiming to evoke in his audience?