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English 2111 - Jones - Fall 2010: Instructions & Sample Research Paper Topics

English 2111 - World Literature I - Jones - Fall 2010

Instructions & Sample Research Paper Topics

Instructions: Write a 3-5 page research paper using the proper MLA style with in-text citations and a works cited page. In addition to the primary text (e.g. The Odyssey), you are required to have at least three additional credible resources from Galileo. The updated MLA guidelines can be found on the GHC Library website. Please follow them precisely. Be sure to look at the other paper topics list on Vista. The questions below are samples. Due date: Thursday, November 19.

1.      The shield of Achilles is a cyclorama, a picture of series of pictures that represent a continuous scene. The shield tells a story; embossed with micro-narrative. Discuss how macro-narratives (i.e. the Iliad itself) function as catalysts for history.

2.      The role of the Chorus is that of a narrator. How does narration affect one’s comprehension of drama? (tip: the movie versions of the Iliad and the Odyssey  both have narrators who speak while the action is going; in the biz they call these “off-screen narrators--kind of like Professor Jones giving his take on what’s going on in the movie while we’re watching it.)

3.      Paper topic regarding Joseph Campbell’s four functions of myth: “Categorizing American Myth: Homer’s Odyssey and Oh Brother, Where Art Thou.” (*you can use this idea with any of the works we’ve read) (tip: compare modern film and/or pop-culture icons with ancient texts so that the function of myth is scene as a pattern throughout history)

4.      Rhetoric is argumentation. Discuss how the anger of Achilles in the Iliad  is related to the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle. Why was Socrates sorry?

5.      The main theme of Othello is jealousy. What is it about sport—basketball specifically—that depicts jealousy in the human spirit? 

6.      Star Wars: The Return of Jedi deals exclusively with what is known as an Oedipal complex.  Compare and contrast this idea in Sophocles’ Oedipus the King and Star Wars.

7.      The music of Oh Brother Where Art Thou seems to control and direct the movement of the plot.  Does the structure of Oh Brother correlate with that of the Odyssey? (tip: look at the structure of Homer’s epic through the lens of chronology keeping in mind that Oh Brother  serves the same purpose: storytelling, yet in a modern way)

8.      Ulysses Evrett McRae is a hero. So is Odysseus. Compare and contrast. (tip: focus on the characteristics of the hero, speech, epithets, etc.)

Subject Guide

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