ENG102/Parlato ~ Spring 2011
ESSAY #2 ~ MIDSUMMER ANALYSIS [
Since we’re reading a Shakespeare play, and our focus has shifted to the interpretation of drama, certain literary elements become even more important. It’s Shakespeare, so language is a given, but because it’s a play, we’re also really concerned with character and setting, and how they collide to create plot.
As of today, 3/9, the action of A Midsummer Night Dream has gone into the woods; we’ve met all our major characters lovers, fools, fairies and things are getting way complicated.
In essay two, your goal will be to make sense of it all. Choose one of the three prompts below (or come up with your own idea but run it by me) to get you going on an interpretive paper.
1) Lysander says, The course of true love never did run smooth. Discuss how this is a main theme of the play, using examples from the plot. Also use one of the other stories or poems we’ve read to illustrate how another author deals with the idea that Love is a b*tch.
2) Focusing on two classic elements of analysis (language, setting, theme, plot, etc), choose a Midsummer character. Explore that character deeply, in terms of the two elements. Look for interesting discussion points, and compare/contrast the character with one from another story we’ve read. Example: How do setting and language define/impact Philostrate, and how is this alike/different from setting and language in regard to Josephine, Mrs. Mallard’s sister? (Good luck with that; Jo & Phil are pretty stock folks)
3) Along with the tribulations of love, many other complex themes enrich Midsummer, stuff like: Changeability, Mistaken Identity, Natural Versus Supernatural, Clarity Versus Confusion, etc., etc. Choose a complex theme (One of these, or one you’ve recognized) and discuss it in depth, giving examples from the play. Also use a story or poem we’ve read to create a more layered analysis of that same theme in another work.
Your paper must include a minimum of 3 citable passages from Midsummer, and 2 from the other work you choose. The finished product, a 4-5 page essay, using MLA-format,
these storys can be found in
The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature, 8th ed. (Michael Meyer) ISBN-13: 978-0-312-46959-7
Story of an Hour
A Rose for Emily