Abraham Lincoln – As a Confucian leader
This essay should be a 650-900 word essay focusing on the assigned readings from the course.
This should be a close reading essay, and should use as evidence primarily passages from the work or works that you discuss. You may not use ANY outside sources without the instructor's approval.
• The essay should be in MLA essay format (see thesample essay here) and should have the student/teacher cover letter (which should answerthese questions) as the first page.A works cited entry and in-text citations for each text discussed are required.
• Analytical essays should be focused on making adebatable claim about the work in question; creative essays should be focused on presenting a work or kind of work from a different angle. Informational essays or essays consisting of summary are not appropriate for either type of essay. Both types of essay should be supported with discussion of specific passages from the text(s) on which the essay is focused. The essay grading rubric can be foundhere for the analytical choices, andhere for the creative choices.
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Choose1of the following topics fromeitherthe Analytical or Creative categories. For the analytical choices, be sure to write athesis-driven essayin response to the topic. Creative choices should be written as narratives.
1.Who Painted the Lion?Chaucer's Wife of Bath, as she describes her own life and marriages in her prologue, points out the problem that stories about women seem to have been mostly written by men: "Who painted first the lion, tell me who?" (Chaucer 816). Many of these, she opines, are negative, and the implication is that it would be different if women were writing the stories themselves. Choose 1 female character from thetales(not the prologues) inThe Canterbury Tales or from any of our other earlier readings, and make a claim about whether this female figure is positive, negative, or neutral.Use only passages from the story itself(and, if you're writing on a part ofThe Canterbury Tales, the tale-teller's prologue) to support your position.
3.The Return of Greek Mythology:The setting of “The Knight's Tale” is ancient Greece, and it may be tempting to compare this story toThe Iliad. Think back to our Week 2 reading and compare the heroic ideals depicted inThe Iliadwith the heroic ideals depicted in “The Knight's Tale.” Can we read “The Knight's Tale” as being a direct reflection of the heroic ideals we find inThe Iliad? Why or why not?
5.Ruling Well in the Real World:Choose one leader from US history and evaluate him or her in terms ofEITHER Machiavelli's model of an ideal princeORConfucius' model of a good leader. Support your thesis with quotations of and references to specific passages from the chosen author's work and with specific details from these politicians' careers.Some minor historical research is allowed for this topic.
7.Good Rulers in Fictional Works:Choose one leader or character from our earlier assigned readings (from Weeks 2-5) and evaluate him or her in terms ofEITHERMachiavelli's model of an ideal princeORConfucius' model of a good leader. Support your thesis with quotations of and references to specific passages from the two chosen works.
9.Judging Other Tales:Choose one important character any one of the works assigned in Weeks 2-5 (choose a single tale if using a work from Weeks 4 or 5), and evaluate him or her using the moral structures set up by Dante in our reading fromThe Inferno. Leaving aside the character's religion (which would automatically relegate some characters at least to Limbo), would this character be hell-worthy in Dante's view? Why or why not?