Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
For your second essay you are going to analyze both Sir Gawain and The Canterbury Tales and explain their relationship to each other. You have three options for this assignment. Choose one of the three options. Do not choose more than one. Option One: Compare and contrast the use of humor in the two works. How does the use of humor help to support the central theme of each? Does one author make better use of humor? Be sure to clearly state the central theme of each work and then to discuss the role humor plays in supporting those themes.
Option Two: Compare and contrast the use of violence in the two works. In what ways does the use of violence further a central theme of each work? Does one author make better use of violence? Be sure to clearly state the central themes of each work and then discuss the role violence plays in supporting those themes. Option Three: Compare and contrast the morality being promoted in the two works. What are the main two or three values being promoted in each work? Are the same values being promoted in both or are different values being promoted?
How is the presentation of these values similar and different? Which author is more successful at promoting specific values? General Guidelines: 1. Whichever option you choose be sure to state your thesis clearly at the end of the first paragraph. 2. Include at least three supporting points and provide examples and supporting arguments for each point of support. 3. Provide examples from each story to illustrate and support your claims. 4. The focus of the paper should be supporting and explaining your interpretation. Work to keep summarizing to a minimum.
The summary exists nly to support the analysis. Do not let summarizing dominate your essay. 5. Stay focused on supporting your thesis. Avoid tangents and overly long quotes or summaries. 6. Don’t get so focused on one work that you neglect the other one. Remember that this essay is meant to be a discussion of the relationship between the two works. 7. The essay should be at least three (3) complete pages long and should follow MLA format guidelines. Two and a half pages is not three pages. 8. Use appropriate transitions between each section of your essay. 9. Your body paragraphs can be arranged in one of two ways.
First, you may choose to discuss one story, then the other story, and then compare and contrast the two. Or you may choose to compare and contrast both stories simultaneously (point by point). Either way, make sure your arrangement strategy is clear. Also make sure to always make clear which story you’re talking about at any point. Stay with one arrangement strategy. 10. You can set up your paper fairly mechanically.
I’ll be focused on the clarity of the claims you’re making and your ability to support those claims through reasoned arguments with material from the two works. 1. Use descriptive language to enrich your interpretation. 12. Follow the conventions of written English, including quoting from the text accurately. 13. Properly integrate quotations into your essay according to MLA guidelines. 14. Begin your paragraphs with a topic sentence, not the quote. 15. You should have an interesting and informative title. 16. Provide an introduction that includes a “hook” to get readers interested, a clear thesis, and a blueprint/roadmap of what’s to come in the essay.
Include a minimum of three (3) direct quotes from each story. 18. Document all of your sources on a Works Cited page. This page is in addition to the three (3) page minimum for the essay. It will be the fourth or fifth page (depending on whether your essay is three or four pages long). 19. Your Works Cited list should include the Modern English translation you’ve used or our text if you quote the versions provided in the Norton Anthology to English Literature. Here’s how to cite our text: Chaucer, Geoffrey. The General Prologue.