Something on Dante's Inferno
: one of our readings.
Write an argumentative paper urging the reader to accept that one of the texts we have read this semester is most relevant or most valuable to an audience today. A useful way to approach this assignment is to put yourself in the position of a production assistant arguing for a new film or television version of the work. Another possibility is to urge a publisher to put out a new edition of the work that will emphasize the qualities that will resonate with a contemporary audience. You may, of course, choose some other scenario as well.
You will be expected to go beyond simple comments about plot??"although plot elements may easily contribute to the appeal of a work to a contemporary audience. In addition, discuss characterization, figurative language, themes, and cultural elements (how the work illuminates universal qualities of human culture, or a human culture of a specific time and place).
In addition, spend some time showing how you think the work you have chosen is superior for this purpose to one or two other works read for class. You may, for example, argue that the male-female dynamics of Chaucer’s Miller’s Tale are more common today, and reflect more of today’s relationship anxieties, than the particular male-female issues that come up in Oedipus the King or even The Odyssey. (You don’t have to take this position??"it’s just an example.)
To summarize, then:
1. State your case for choosing one particular work.
2. Provide evidence from the text to support your claims.
3. If necessary, cite other sources to support your claims.
4. Show that the work you advocate is a better choice than one or two others.
You can be quite efficient about all this. I expect the completed papers to be 500-750 words long.
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