This essay should be 3-4 pages, excluding the Works Cited page, focusing on the assigned readings from Weeks 2 and 3. It is due by 11:55 pm ET on Sunday of Week 3.
This should be a close reading essay, and should use as evidence primarily passages from the story or stories that you discuss. Please do not use ANY outside sources for this assignment.
The essay should be in MLA essay format (see the sample essay attached below) and use MLA citations. A Works Cited entry and in-text citations for each text discussed are required.
The essay should be focused on making a debatable claim about the text(s) in question; informational essays or essays consisting of summary are not appropriate. The claim should be supported with discussion of specific passages (quotes and citation) from the primary text(s). The essay grading rubric can be found here.
Choose 1 of the following topics, and write a thesis-driven essay in response to that topic:
The Tragic Hero: In Oedipus Tyrannus, should we view Oedipus as tragic only, or can we find something heroic in his actions and end? Support your argument by discussing only events and lines from the play. Remember to quote and cite the play in the body paragraphs.
Being Human: Consider Oedipus attempts to outrun prophecy: what does Sophocles seem to be arguing, through the play, about human potential and limitations? Support your argument by discussing only events and lines from the play. Remember to quote and cite the play in the body paragraphs.
Learning Culture from Literature: choose 1 poem by Li Bai, and analyze it for a picture of the culture in which Li Bai was writing. What is one piece of information about that culture that we can infer from the poem, and what does Li Bai seem to be saying about that information? Support your argument by discussing only passages from the poem you chose. Remember to quote and cite the poem(s) in the body paragraphs.
Shared Themes: Choose one (1) poem by Li Bai, and identify in it a theme that you also can find in Oedipus Tyrannus. Compare and contrast the two texts treatment of the theme. Do they deal with that theme in a way that is more alike or different? Focus your thesis on arguing how the treatments are more similar/different, and support your argument by discussing only passages from the two readings. Remember to quote and cite the poem(s) in the body paragraphs.
Make your own topic: create your own critical question to answer in your essay. If you choose this topic you must contact me for approval by Thursday of Week 3. Essay submissions with unapproved topics will be returned.
Writing Format: All essays should be written in Times New Roman 12 point plain font. Essays are double spaced, include indented paragraphs with no extra space between paragraphs, and 1 inch margins on all (4) sides. Essays should be MLA formatted and submitted as MS Word documents/attachments. Write in the third person objective voice, and prove/illustrate points with quotes and paraphrases from your primary and secondary sources, followed by the corresponding in-text and Works Cited citation. Avoid the first and second person I and you subjective voice in college level scholarly writing. As a rule, keep quotes to 2-3 lines maximum in these relatively short papers, and no more than 10-15% of the total paper.
Technical Errors: Late papers will be penalized, as will papers with technical errors, superficial and/or careless grammatical or content errors. Technical errors (e.g., typographical mistakes, misspellings, sloppiness, sentence fragments, etc.) will result in grade penalties that become more severe as their frequency increases.