El 202 Spring 2020 Assignments

Assignment 4: The Fall before the Fall

Find a place in Books 4 or 5 where Eden looks “less than perfect,” maybe even a little bit ready for some temptation. Write a very short paragraph explaining why you think this phrase or word make Eden (or its residents) appear perhaps a little less “sufficient to have stood”, and withstood, Satan than God perhaps would like us to believe. 1 paragraph. Due Monday 11 May.

Assignment 3: The Debate in Hell

Write a short, one page paper describing which of the devils you think should have won the debate in hell. What is your argument? You might think about who you think is right, which of the devils you think Milton might have thought is right, or which Milton’s God would have best approved. I’m looking for around one double-spaced page. Due Monday 11 May (email).

Essay 2: due Sunday, 26 April

Write a 1100-1250 word essay, in which you offer a close reading of one of the lyric poems on the syllabus. You can write on one we examined in class, or not. As you are being asked to write on a very short piece of poetic text, this essay will be a real test of your close reading skills, and your ability to think deeply with literary details. I’d encourage you to think about meter, sound, rhetorical figures, grammar, and so forth in addition to image, logic, and meaning. If you find yourself getting stuck, turn to the dictionary! The Oxford English Dictionary (for historical meanings of words; access provided through the library website) and such resources as the Online Etymology Dictionary will be helpful here.  You don’t need to cite the latter, but if you use the OED just provide a footnote with the details; for example, “liquefaction,” OED, 1a, where the number and letter direct the reader to the definition to which you are referring.

Assignment 2: Scansion

Choose a lyric poem from our readings (any poem: Herrick, a part of Lanyer, Wroth, Herbert, Donne) and scan it, in the way you see in the document below. Then, record a recitation and email it to me!

Due next Wednesday, 8 April. 5 points. Please note that I’m grading this assignment for completeness and good faith effort rather than correctness. If you make an effort here, you will get 5 points. Also know that my late policy is very flexible given the circumstances. If you need extra time, just let me know.

The Damp


Essay 1, due Friday March 13th, Midnight

Assignment: Write a short paper (1250 words) on either Doctor Faustus or The Revenger’s Tragedy. As always, what I’m looking for here is close reading. Because this is a short paper, your argument (thesis) should be based on a narrow portion of text, which you exhaustively analyze in terms of grammar, diction, figures of speech (metaphors, metonyms, etc.), ideas, and so forth. For this assignment, I will be particularly looking for papers that successfully introduce, integrate, and interpret quotations.  Be selective: you don’t have time to advance a theory about the whole play, much less the whole of “the Renaissance.” Rather, you want to bear down on a narrow topic or question (for example, why is there such heavy emphasis on erotic desire in Faustus’s last speech? or what is Middleton doing with the image of the ruin in The Revenger’s Tragedy?). Please refer to my Paper Guide, which I will be re-sending to you via email.

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