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Juan Christian Pellicer, ILOS 2006 II ENG2327/4367 Shakespeare. Essay topics Deadlines First draft: Friday 20 October Final draft: 2327 students 6 November 4367 students 7 December (‘Classfronter’) ENG 2327: FIVE PAGES (4367 students may not choose topics from this list) 1 ‘In the interpretation of Hamlet criticism has found many problems; but none has proved more puzzling than the hero’s treatment of Ophelia in the so-called “nunnery scene”’ (3.1.89—174).1 Give your own analysis of the ‘nunnery scene’ in light of relevant aspects of the critical debate. 2 In Romeo and Juliet a great deal is made to depend on the outcome of chance events or coincidences. Is this reliance on chance events a source of dramatic strength or weakness? 3 Discuss the significance of Shylock’s Jewishness in The Merchant of Venice. 4 Critics have spoken of the progressive ‘degradation’ the figure of Antony suffers in Antony and Cleopatra (see for instance the Introduction to John Wilders’s Arden 3 edition, p. 45). Is there anything convincingly ‘great’ about the ageing soldier-statesman we encounter in the play (as distinct from what is said of him by several characters throughout the play, mainly in retrospect)? 5 The Tempest: a play about imperialism? ENG 4367: TEN PAGES (2327 students may also choose topics from this list, but are encouraged to stick to the questions above) 1 Romeo and Juliet contains a striking diversity of literary styles and conventions. How effectively are these elements integrated dramatically? 2 Q2 Hamlet, Folio Hamlet, conflated Hamlet: do the differences matter? 3 Hamlet’s love of the theatre is Shakespeare’s own invention; the players and the playwithin-the-play are not derived from any of Hamlet’s known sources. Discuss the significance of the theatre in Hamlet: the texts of the fictional plays and speeches, the Harold Jenkins, ‘Hamlet and Ophelia’ (1963) in Kenneth Muir, ed., Interpretations of Shakespeare: British Academy Shakespeare Lectures (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985), 142—60; 142. 1 acting troupe’s rehearsals, Hamlet’s instructions to the actors, and stage performance in Elsinore. 4 Explore the implications of economic, legal and religious language in The Merchant of Venice. 5 Antony and Cleopatra examines the dynamic relationship between individual personality and public role in the behaviour of two highly unpredictable protagonists who constantly flout or would appear to redefine decorum. Discuss with reference to both Antony and Cleopatra. 6 ‘Mutability is the main theme of Antony and Cleopatra’. Discuss. 7 Analyze the problems raised in the final act of The Tempest.