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Taming of the Shrew Critical Essay Assignment For your final assessment choose ONE of the following topics and write an essay of at least 5 well developed paragraphs with a controlling thesis statement. 1. Analyzing a Character. Characters may be dynamic or static. Dynamic characters undergo an important change in attitude, values, or behavior. In contrast, static characters remain pretty much the same throughout a play, novel, or short story. Select one of the following characters and write an essay showing that the character is either dynamic or static: Kate, Bianca, Petruchio, Lucentio, Baptista, Trainio. Support your position by specific references to the characters words and actions. Do not merely retell the story. OR 2. Analyzing a Favorite Scene. Certain scenes have stronger appeal than others and yield enjoyment when they are remembered after the plays reading or performance. What is your favorite scene in The Taming of the Shrew? Write an essay explaining the scenes appeal to you. Consider elements such as humor, irony, suspense, conflict, character, props, language, and theme. OR 3. Responding to a Critic. Should The Taming of the Shrew be categorized as a comedy or as a farce? A farce is a type of comedy in which ridiculous and often stereotyped characters are involved in farfetched, silly situations. The humor arises from crude physical action, slapstick, and clowning. Comedy is a type of drama that ends happily because the protagonist, usually and ordinary person, overcomes a series of obstacles. Unlike pure farce, comedy may pose serious and realistic problems for the protagonist. After reading contrasting comments of the two critics below, respond to one of them by writing a paragraph in which you argue for or against the critic’s position. Support your argument by citing specific details from the play. a. The Taming of the Shrew…was an adaptation of an older play. Shakespeare took what was originally a tidy little farce and transformed it into a vigorous and colourful one; but it remains a rather heartless play, and although Katherina and Petruchio are entertaining they are not particularly real people. – from Marchette Chutte, An Introduction to Shakespeare. b. For his third comedy, The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare went to Gascoingne’s Supposes…, but he combined this plot, very ingeniously, with the “taming” plot, and he set both in the framework of the gulling of Christopher Sly. The distancing of the play by the induction, the contrast between the levels of reality represented by the two main plots, and the sermon with which the play concludes-however unpalatable to modern tastes- prevent the comedy from being farcical. – from Kenneth Muir, ed. Shakspeare; The Comedies OR 4. Is this Play Sexist? Think about the play as a whole and the discussions that we have had in class. In an essay of several paragraphs discuss this question and offer evidence (from the text) to support your interpretation. Assessment CATEGORY 4 3 2 1 Introduction and Thesis First paragraph is catchy. Thesis is evident and point to be argued well stated. First paragraph has a weak "grabber." Thesis is mixed among many sentences and hard to piece together. Creates a strong interaction with the reader. There is a sense of a person behind the words. The essay is very well organized. Five paragraphs evident. One idea or scene follows another in a logical sequence with clear transitions. The entire essay is related to the assigned topic and allows the reader to understand much more about the topic. The writer’s voice is present. There is a sense of “writing to be read”. A catchy beginning was attempted but was confusing rather than catchy. Thesis is not entirely apparent although topic is evident. The writer’s voice may emerge at times. There is little sense of “writing to be read.” No attempt was made to catch the reader's attention in the first paragraph. Thesis is not apparent nor is the topic of the essay. The writer’s voice provides little, if any, sense of involvement or commitment and there is no sense of “writing to be read” Ideas seem to be randomly arranged. No effort at paragraph organization. ___x 4 = ___/ 16 Voice ___x 6 = ___/ 24 Organization ___x 6 = ___/ 24 Focus on Assigned Topic ___ x 6 = ___/ 24 Mechanics ___ x 3 = ___/12 The essay has few, if any, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, or usage errors. The essay is pretty well organized. Five paragraphs evident. One idea may seem out of place. Clear transitions are used. The essay is a little hard to follow. Paragraphs are unclear. The transitions are sometimes not clear. Most of the essay is related to the assigned topic. The essay wanders off at one point, but the reader can still learn something about the topic. The essay has two or three mechanics errors. Some of the essay is related to the assigned topic, but a reader does not learn much about the topic. No attempt has been made to relate the essay to the assigned topic. The essay has four or five mechanics errors. The essay has more than five mechanics errors.