How does literature reflect the evolution of the hero-like character?

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 Your thesis should answer the question “How do you (as yourself, an intelligent reader) see British literature reflecting X (where X is your topic question) over the historical periods we have covered?”  show interpretation of how and why writers’ responses to these topic questions changed in response to changes in history, culture, society, literary fashion, literacy, etc. – i.e., your interpretation of the sweep of literary history. 3. In your paper, you must answer your chosen question with specific reference to works from all three historical periods (see syllabus for understanding): Medieval, Early Modern, and the 17th and 18th centuries. Please note that “specific reference” means that you should quote specific authors, passages, character names, episodes, etc. – not just “Chaucer says a lot about men treating women badly” but something like “When Chaucer‟s Wife of Bath says that “Experience, through noon auctoritee/ Were in this world, Is right ynough for me/ To speke of wo that is in marriage‟ she announces to the world her rebellion against a society that saw women as inferior to men” (Damrosch col.1:287). The more specific you can be about the works you are analyzing and reflecting on, usually the better the quality of your paper. 4. You may choose which literary works you wish to discuss from those we have read in class. You may also wish to include works outside our readings in your reflection, though it is not required. You should discuss in some detail at least two works (or writers) from each time period, though you certainly can analyze more than six pieces of literature. At least 2 quotes should be used to support your analysis from each of the 6 pieces of literature. 5. Your reflection should demonstrate that you understand and can connect literary works to key historical events, concepts, and movements of the time. 6. Your primary focus of this essay should be your own reflection on how the works and writers of British literature you have selected have tackled your chosen theme question (note: no personal voice (“I” should be present in the final paper). You are free to use secondary sources in support of your reflection but material must be properly documented. Throughout the course, please ask me if you are unsure about whether you should document a source, or how to document a source.


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