Discuss insights into the work that can be gained from the author’s biography.

In this task, you will 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

• René 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, “Micromégas” 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 Brontë, Wuthering Heights, 1847 (novel)

• Herman Melville, “Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street” 1853 (short story)

• 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 Market” 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)

Use the link near the bottom of this page to access direct links to the works listed above.

Once you have selected and read the work, you will create a paragraph of descriptive writing with your personal observations about the work. This paragraph must be written before you do research on the work, the author, and the period it comes from. You will need to be quite detailed in your description of the work.

The next step will be to research the work, the life of the artist, and the period. You will then be ready to create your analysis. This process of analysis will require you to discuss the historical context of the work, pertinent aspects of the author’s biography, themes and/or stylistic characteristics of its historical period, and finally, the relevance of this work for audiences today.

The final requirement of the task will be to reflect on this process of analysis and describe how your perception of the work changed.

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).

D. When you use sources to support ideas and elements in a paper or project, provide acknowledgement of source information for any content that is quoted, paraphrased or summarized. Acknowledgement of source information includes in-text citation noting specifically where in the submission the source is used and a corresponding reference, which includes the following:

• author

• date

• title

• location of information (e.g., publisher, journal, website URL)