Choose one of the following questions to create an answer. Do not try to answer the questions within the question you choose one-by-one; instead, use your critical thinking/interpretation skills to create an essay structure with an opening paragraph, strong body in which you use close reading techniques to cite any passages (be brief here—use only what you need, and remain analytic about the brief passages you chose to support your own position), and a well-crafted conclusion. Avoid weak transitions like “in conclusion,” “because,” “as I wrote earlier,”etc. We can talk more about this in class if you want.
Length: 750 words
Times New Roman 12-point font
Margins: 1” all sides
1. What stereotypes were called-up around the phenomena of the recent Los Vegas shootings; how did the media portray the individual who had carried out the shooting in relation to media portrayals of other incidents of mass violence (protests, police treatment of different ethnicities, etc.)? How might ideas that emerge around acts of mass violence make non-violent journeys an ethnically and/or racially-inflected narrative? Finally, what might the way the telling of “stories” of heroism are written into Beowulf tell us about current versions of hero and anti-hero stories/narratives that are emerging in our own media-saturated times?
2. Based on the evidence in the Beowulf story, and in Chaucer’s “Wife of Bath’s Tale,” use close reading techniques to understand the role of women in the culture depicted in Beowulf. Does this represent an empowerment of female power? What kind of power do females seems to have in the story? Or is this representation a culturally-specific silencing of women’s stories? Or do the tropes of “women” in Beowulf, and later in Chaucer’s “Wife of Bath’s Tale,” signal something more universally produced—a set of figures adopted across cultures and times—for women’s roles in society?