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A Song for Shakespeare
One of the considerations that make William Shakespeare's Hamlet such a remarkable play is that the characters are complex, mercurial, and provocative. Consider the characters of Hamlet, Ophelia, Gertrude, and Claudius. What makes them tick? Choose one of the four, and then select a song of any musical genre (with lyrics) that might serve as an effective theme song for the character. In what ways do the lyrics of your chosen song suggest your character’s personality, concerns, or circumstance?
As part of your discussion, you must make at least two specific references to the song lyrics (cite the line numbers), as well as two specific references to Shakespeare’s play. Please use MLA style to cite lines from the play (V. iii. 315-319). Include a Works Cited page that lists the play and your song. See MLA style ("sound recordings") for your song listing. Include an appendix in which you cite the lyrics of the song you have chosen . If the song is available on YouTube, SoundCloud or elsewhere, also include a link to the song below the lyrics. You may also discuss the music itself if it helps establish character, as long as this is in addition to the two song-lyric references. Length is of your own choosing, though remember that brevity is the soul of wit (II.ii.90).
Here's an example:
(Link to YouTube may not be accessible
Remember to use standard MLA formatting throughout – i.e. double-spaced,
12-point type in a formal type-face, with one-inch margins. Number your
pages using MLA formatting. Use the following standard heading (no cover sheet):
a particular literary work, may look at an author's writings as a whole,
or may take a thematic approach considering several works.
The objective of this assignment is to interpret Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four by arguing for a particular way of understanding the two works. You will be assigned a topic. You will determine how this topic helps explain the novels by focusing on the philosophies of the two societies.
Five sources—the two novels (primary sources), plus three scholarly sources (secondary sources) that reinforce your argument—for a total of seven citations:
o Brave New World (at least two references) and
o Nineteen Eighty-Four (at least two references), plus
o At least three references from the following:
Length is four to five pages, plus a title page and a Works Cited page—both of which must adhere to MLA guidelines. In-text citations are required. Standard MLA formatting must be followed throughout. All pages must be typed in a formal typeface such as Times Roman (serif) or Calibri (sans serif). Informal typefaces such as Papyrus and Comic Sans are inappropriate.
The completed paper is due Friday, March 22 (11:59 pm), via Turn-It-In. Late papers will be penalized. There are no exceptions to this deadline without prior arrangement.
MLA Guidelines for Republished Books
MLA Guidelines for an Introduction or Foreword
Hitchens, Christopher. Foreword. Brave New
World and Brave New World Revisited. By Aldous
A snippet of a song is heard on page 77 of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four as Winston Smith observes Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford at the Chestnut Tree Café. When Winston sits by himself much later on page 293, the telescreen plays the same song, a parody of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “The Village Blacksmith,” thus linking the two scenes.
In a formal essay of
two pages or so,
discuss why Orwell may have referenced this particular poem. Consider also the
reasons Orwell may have wanted to connect the two scenes.
Dr. Stockmann Measured by Aristotle
The concept of a tragic hero was defined by
Aristotle in his Poetics (335 BCE). This type of hero is generally seen as
a virtuous character destined for suffering or defeat because of a
miscalculation. Often, the tragic hero’s error in judgment, called
hamartia by Aristotle, leads to an epiphany that results in personal
growth. In a formal essay of two pages or so, decide whether Dr. Stockmann
from Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People is a tragic hero. If
so, identify his hamartia. If he is not, why not? Support your arguments
with three specific references from the play. Underline your thesis
Illuminating Huxley via Frederick Douglass
Former American slave Frederick Douglass explores the methods used to manipulate and control slaves in his Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. In chapter 11 he writes of his master, Hugh Auld:
“He exhorted me to content myself, and be obedient. He told me, if I would be happy, I must lay out no plans for the future. He said, if I behaved myself properly, he would take care of me. Indeed, he advised me to complete thoughtlessness of the future, and taught me to depend solely upon him for happiness. He seemed to see fully the pressing necessity of setting aside my intellectual nature, in order to [find] contentment in slavery” (88).
These recommendations seem eerily
reminiscent of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and Mustapha
Mond’s assertion that happiness and stability are the hallmarks of his
society when people know their place and appreciate the benefits of living
without family hassles, responsibilities, or attachments. Indeed, Mond
observes that “Wheels must turn steadily, but cannot turn untended. There
must be men to tend them, men as steady as the wheels upon their axles,
sane men, obedient men, stable in contentment” (42).
A Response to Bauerlein
Read the following excerpts
from Mark Bauerlein's The Dumbest Generation.
The assignment, worth 60
points, is due on September 21, at 11:59 pm. Submission
must be via Turn-It-In.