Writing assignment #1: Medieval genres and tropes

Due: Oct. 6, 2016 Oct. 13, 2016

Choose one of the following two options and write 4–5 pages, aprox. 2 pages for the first part, and 2-3 pages for the second.

1. a) Describe an everyday activity (grocery shopping; waiting for the bus; playing a game) as the Beowulf poet might have described it, had s/he been miraculously transported to the 21st century with his/her medieval sensibility intact. All the intricacies of Old English verse are not strictly necessary, though any gestures in that direction will get considerable credit.
b) Write an explanation of your choices in section a), with proper references to all sources (lectures, the text, editor’s notes in the anthology, &c.).

2. a) Write an Ekphrasis (covered in first class on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) of a contemporary object, in keeping with the tone, ethos, and sensibility of the Gawain poet.
b) Write an explanation of your choices in section a), with proper references to all sources (lectures, the text, editor’s notes in the anthology, &c.).

These assignments will be evaluated based on

• the understanding they display of the chosen literary period
• originality and thoughtfulness
• skill and correctness of writing
• whether they fulfill the criteria set out in the assignment
• whether they adhere to MLA format

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