Comparative Literature: The Beginnings to 1500 Spring 2017

aper instructions:
Assignment: Write an analytic essay that compares a specific element of Pericles to a single element from a literary text we are reading this semester.
Overview: In one of our two textbooks, Introducing Comparative Literature, Domingo, Saussy, and Villanueva explain that when we write a comparative essay, we ask and answer a series of questions about what a work of art has achieved at a moment in its culture. We then compare the results of that analysis with a similar kind of art from a different culture. When we write this comparison, we determine the nature of a complex group of internally linked meanings in both works of art. This process allows us to write robust accounts of the function and value of those texts, even of their beauty (74).
Part of what the authors of the textbook mean is that we first analyze particular, specific, elements of one text and that we can discern additional elements of that same text when we contrast and compare those same elements with similar elements in another work.
For example, we can analyze the Japanese woodcut at the bottom of the page by focusing on the relationship between the person with the text and the person looking at him. However, we would say different things if we compared and contrasted the woodcut with the fresco next to it. The fresco depicts a similar scenario of two people, one of whom has a text in hand, but comparing and contrasting the woodcut and fresco allows us to understand each work better. Different elements we might analyze include: objects in each work, who the holder of the text is and who the non-holder is. Each of these elements suddenly becomes more salient because we see the works in light of each other. So too, if we were to perform the same analysis with the fresco and the photograph, yet another set of elements comes to mind that we can analyze. In your essay, you will do something like this. Do not attempt to analyze the play and other literary work as a whole. Instead, say significant things about one element. Maintain a narrow focus, one that is laser sharp.
Details: So, take a single element from Pericles and write an analysis of it by comparing and contrasting it with a similar element from one of the literary texts we are reading. It will be useful to bring in an insight from one chapter in Bennett & Royle’s Introduction to Literature, Criticism, and Theory or from Domingo, Saussy, and Villanueva. For instance, Bennett & Royle state that “narratives are always multiple,” which we see demonstrated clearly in Pericles when Marina speaks with the Governor of Mytilini in Act Four of the play (Bennett & Royle 54). You can ask how the fact of multiple stories helps us understand the play by comparing it with another novel, poem, or story. I might argue that Akhmed’s conversation with a character I won’t name to not spoil the text depends upon there being more than one story — some are told by Akhmed and some are told by the character who is prying him for information. We can note that Akhmed presents himself as his friend’s equal, while Marina is Lysimachus’s would-be slave. This gives me an entry point into arguing how Marina acts as though she is feigning innocence. Her innocence makes Lysimachus recognize he is a character in her story.

He sees himself from her point of view and is no longer just the protagonist of his own story. What he sees disturbs him. In Pericles, Marina’s unequal status means she uses relatively indirect speech in relationship to the governor, whereas Akhmed cannot speak directly. Interestingly, the narrator of Constellation of Vital Phenomena tells the story of why Akhmed’s friend is questioning him, and this other story creates a tone of compassion, if not sympathy, for that character who otherwise seems evil. In order to make a persuasive argument, I will quote both texts and analyze the quotes extensively. I’ll balance both analyses of the texts.
This is just one possible topic you can compare and contrast. A different element is possible. Requirements: Your essay will have an arguable thesis — that is, a controversial main idea that is not self-evident — that you prove is a strong interpretation of how the two texts illuminate each other. You will use quotes from both texts and make logical arguments about those quotes.
Do not summarize either text. In your final draft, you can quickly contextualize the scene, but you must not turn in a summary. Of course, while you write, you will have to summarize texts to figure out what you want to argue, but then you must revise so that the work you turn in consists of your thesis, quotes that support it, and arguments that use logic to prove points.
Your essay should be 750 to 1500 words long, in MLA format (12 point Times Roman Font, 1 inch margins). It is all right to go over the word limit, but it will be unwise to write fewer than 750 words. You MUST have a complete works cited at the end of the essay. If you have your works cited on the same page as the last page, that is all right, but it does not count towards the number of words in your essay. In any case, the works cited MUST include all texts you refer to or quote. Plus, anything you read to prepare your essay, from Wikipedia pages on the text to scholarly essay, must be in your works cited. As long as you list the texts you reference, everything will be fine. It is only if you fail to include a text that you will run into trouble. Do not plagiarize (see the syllabus on plagiarism).
Your essay must be turned in on your due date. You will sign up for a due date week three of classes. You must upload your paper to through the Blackboard site associated with our class. Options: The second literary text will be one we read in class. If not, you must check with me one week before the due date of your paper to ensure that you will be able to receive full credit. To get permission, pitch the text and your thesis to me in a meeting. I recommend you make your argument interesting by bringing in a notion from Bennett & Royle.

Please read careful for the prompt, because I already assign one writer to wrote this essay and my professor said it’s not follow the prompt.
I also asked my professor about the essay; here is what she said “I think Blood Wedding and Pericles are a good combination of texts.
Try to keep a narrow focus. You don’t have to write about the entire text, just say one intriguing thing, and be sure to bring in a concept from Bennett & Royle for examples of good themes or concepts to work with. ”

In this essay , you should compare “Pericles” and “Blood Wedding”, because we use these two books in this semester, and there is also another important point is you’d need to mention Bennett & Royal through this essay, our professor emphasis a lot during class.

If you have any question about this essay, please feel free to contact me!! I don’t want to fail twice…

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