The second assignment for the class has three options:
Rewrite: You may choose to revise your first
essay after receiving comments and suggestions for improvement from me.
This applies only to those students who receive a grade other than A.
Your revision should show substantial rethinking on the points in
question as well as a thorough proof-reading for technical errors.
Be aware that you are earning a second grade; you are not changing the
first grade. Also, be aware that you are not starting with the original
grade and automatically improving upon it. Rather, you are submitting
a second paper with a clean grading slate. The paper will not receive a
better grade unless it is substantially improved.
Imitation: A major aesthetic principle of neo-classical
literature is imitation, and thus we see numerous "mock" genres, genuine
imitations and rich allusions to literature of the past. Consider how you
might imitate this principle in a modern way. Choose a specific work or part of a work that
you would like to "modernize" by adapting the form to a present-day situation
or concern. For instance, you might write a modern day "Valediction" or farewell poem,
or "MacFlecknoe" in which you create a new king of the dunces,
or you might create a modern version of Milton's Council of Hell. Alternatively, you might
write your own version of Gulliver's Travels, with a new narrator and a new destination.
Be sure to incorporate enough of the original work to make the imitation known.
This option will actually involve two parts, the imitation and an analysis
or "write-up" of the imitation. After you carefully construct your parody,
adaptation or imitation, examine in brief what you have done. Explain to
the reader what aspects of the seventeenth or eighteenth-century work you have modeled
and where you have departed. Describe the spirit of the imitation, the main
point and the contemporary relevance. One of the objectives of this work
is to demonstrate your understanding of the earlier literature.
Be sure to illustrate what the original work is about.
Depending upon the nature of the imitation, you should aim not to exceed
seven pages. All standards for formal writing apply.
Recitation: Perhaps the most daring of all! The recitation
involves a live performance of a part of whole of a poem. You should
recite at least 20 lines of poetry, but this should not be a random
selection. Rather demonstrate your critical skill in choosing an apt
segment of a poem. Recite with purpose and dramatize in your voice
and body the meaning of the poem. In grading I will look for articulation,
completeness, dramatization and the ability to convey the meaning of
the lines. Consequently, you should have a solid understanding of
what the poem or selection is about. Be sure to tell the audience
before the recitation the name of the poem and author and date of
publication. Be prepared to answer a few questions.
If you choose the recitation, please let me know the week beforehand
so that I can make time in the class.