ENG208.001 Topics in Early British Literaure: Into The Wild

Fall 2012


DUE: Monday, October 22nd

Figure 1. Marlon Brando as Col. Kurtz in Apocalypse Now (1979)

Part I: Short Answer: Informational (5 questions X 10 points each = 50 points)

Please answer the following 5 questions in a full paragraph or two [a "full" paragraph being something like 5-7 sentences], and always be sure to be as concrete, specific, and detailed as possible in your answers, even including direct quotations from the original texts if that helps. Be sure to consult links on the Syllabus for help with these, and you may also use material beyond what I provide on the Syllabus if you think that would help -- just always be sure to properly attribute your sources and give credit for other persons' ideas and writing.

1. What are the 5 "points" of Gawain'' pentangle on his shield, and how might you briefly describe the values and/or morals they stand for?

2. Why did the Green Knight test Gawain and how does Gawain react to that?

3. When does the Fool disappear from the Shakespeare's play King Lear, and what are some of the possible reasons for that, according to Ian Johnston?

4. Who is Kent in King Lear and how would you describe his role in the play?

5. Who are Ariel and Caliban in Shakespeare's play The Tempest and what is their relationship to Prospero?

Part II: Short Response: Interpretive (5 questions X 10 points each = 50 points)

Please to the following 5 prompts with at least TWO to THREE full paragraphs, and BE SURE to include in your responses very specific details from the works under discussion [specific scene and plot details, direct quotations of the text, etc.]. There are no right or wrong responses to the prompts below, but whatever your interpretation(s) of the narrative(s) you discuss, you MUST ground that interpretation in a very CLOSE attention to the small details and language of the work(s) under consideration.

1. Do you think Gawain succeeds in his quest, and why or why not?

2. How would you compare and contrast Capt. Willard and Sir Gawain in their respective quests, especially in relation to the obstacles they encounter away from their more familiar homes?

3. What does Lear learn about himself and his life, and about the world more generally, when he ends up outside in the storm?

4. What, in your opinion, is the meaning of "family" in King Lear?

5. What does Prospero learn about himself and the world more broadly after shipwrecking his enemies and then setting them all free again, the deciding to go back home with them? [You might consult Ian Johnston's essay on the play to help with your thinking here.]

This Mid-Term Exam is due to the Instructor, typed and double-spaced, in class on Monday, October 22nd. It's a good idea to cut and paste the Exam questions and prompts from here into your Word document and then fill in your own responses after each one.

Figure 2. Helen Mirren as Prospero, Felicity Jones as Miranda & Djimon Hounsou as Caliban in Julie Taymor's The Tempest (2010)