Literature Analysis

Write an analysis (suggested length of 3-5 pages) of one work of literature. Choose one work from the list below:
Classical Period • Sappho, “The Anactoria Poem” ca. 7th century B.C.E. (poetry) • Aeschylus, “Song of the Furies” from The Eumenides, ca. 458 B.C.E. (poetry) • Sophocles, Antigone, ca. 442 B.C.E. (drama) • Aristotle, Book 1 from the Nichomachean Ethics, ca. 35 B.C.E. (philosophical text) • Augustus, The Deeds of the Divine Augustus, ca. 14 C.E. (funerary inscription) • Ovid, “The Transformation of Daphne into a Laurel” an excerpt from Book 1 of The Metamorphoses, ca. 2 C.E. (poetry)
Renaissance • Francesco Petrarch, “The Ascent of Mount Ventoux” 1350 (letter) • Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, the first seven paragraphs of the “Oration on the Dignity of Man” ca. 1486 (essay excerpt) • Leonardo da Vinci, Chapter 28 “Comparison of the Arts” from The Notebooks ca. 1478-1518 (art text) • Edmund Spenser, Sonnet 30, “My Love is like to Ice” from Amoretti 1595 (poetry) • William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18, “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day” 1609 (poetry) • Francis Bacon, “Of Studies” from The Essays or Counsels… 1625 (essay) • Anne Bradstreet, “In Honour of that High and Mighty Princess, Queen Elizabeth” 1643 (poetry)

• Andrew Marvell, “To his Coy Mistress’. 1681 (poetry)
Enlightenment • Rene Descartes, Part 4 from Discourse on Method, 1637 (philosophical text) • William Congreve, The Way of the World, 1700 (drama-comedy) • Jonathan Swift, “A Modest Proposal” 1729 (satirical essay) • Voltaire, “Micromegas” 1752 (short story, science fiction) • Phillis Wheatley, “To S.M., a Young African Painter, on Seeing his Works” 1773 (poetry) • Thomas Paine, “Common Sense” 1776 (essay) • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, “The Fisherman” 1779 (poetry) • Immanuel Kant, “An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment’?” 1784 (essay)
Romanticism • Lord Byron, “She Walks in Beauty 1813 (poetry) • Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Kubla Khan” 1816 (poetry) • Edgar Allan Poe, “The Fall of the House of Usher” 1839 (short story) • Alexander Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo, 1844 (novel) • Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights, 1847 (novel)

• Emily Dickinson, “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass” 1865 (poetry)
• Friedrich Nietzsche, Book 4 from The Joyful Wisdom, 1882 (philosophical text)
Realism • Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, 1843 (novella) • Karl Marx and Friedrich Engles, The Communist Manifesto, 1848 (political pamphlet) • Christina Rossetti, “Goblin Marker 1862 (poetry) • Matthew Arnold, “Dover Beach” 1867 (poetry) • Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, 1886 (novella) • Kate Chopin, “The Story of an Hour” 1894 (short story) • Mark Twain, “The Five Boons of Life” 1902 (short story) • Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence, 1921 (novel)

A. Record your initial reaction to the work (suggested length of 1 paragraph or half a page) by doing the following: 1. Describe your initial thoughts and/or feelings about the work. 2. Describe in detail at least one aspect of the work that most interests you.
B. Analyze the work (suggested length of 2-4 pages) by doing the following: 1. Describe the historical context of the period in which the work was written. 2. Discuss insights into the work that can be gained from the author’s biography. 3. Analyze how this work explores a particular theme and/or stylistic characteristic from its period. 4. Explain the relevance of this work for today’s audiences.
C. Discuss how the deeper knowledge you gained through your analysis has informed or altered your thoughts and/or feelings about the work (suggested length of 1 paragraph or half a page).

 

 

 

Sample Solution

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