Page minimum: 4 (not including the Works Cited page); MLA formatting and source documentation (4 sources minimum).Note: This is a research assignment. You are required to support your analysis with a minimum of four (4) external sources (not including the textbook), which may include books (hardcopy or electronic), database articles (at least two of these), and no more than one regular Internet source. Please do not use any .com sources. None! Please remember that your Works Cited list must begin at the top of a fresh page (but is still included in the same submission file). The Works Cited page does not count as one of the four pages minimum that you need to satisfy the length requirement. If you are confused about anything related to this assignment, feel free to email your instructor!More on sources: Your source list should include at least two database sources (which can include database articles and ebooks). Most of you should already be familiar with the Trident research databases, which can be accessed by opening the Library tab located on our course main page (on the right side where you will see a list of links. Once you have the Library main page open, look for the “databases / articles by subject” link. Your best options for getting your database research started are the Bloom’s Literature and JSTOR databases (in the English Literature area). For online books, look in the eBooks Collection.Please choose one of the following:1.If you read the Course Lesson on Aristotle’s definition of tragedy, you know that the great Greek philosopher defines tragedy by way of its purpose. According to his Poetics, tragedy is a serious dramatic action constructed to effect “a catharsis of fear and pity.” The term catharsis means a “purging.” In your essay, focus primarily on how Sophocles’ tragedy Oedipus Rex achieves this end (the purging of pity and fear). Demonstrate how the tragic plot moves us from a condition of fear (fear on the part of the audience for the tragic protagonist, i.e. fear for his ultimate fate; and fear through identification with the character, i.e., fear that we, too, could find ourselves in a similar situation) toward a condition of pity for the suffering of the protagonist. In your analysis of the first half of the play look especially at how Sophocles uses dramatic irony as a technique for arousing fear, and, in the latter part of the play, at how pathos (emotionally charged language) is used to arouse pity. However, you should feel free to look at any element of the play (plotting, characterization, choral songs etc.) that will support your argument. Keep in mind that the Greek audience would already have known the story of Oedipus, which was a part of their mythology.2. Aristotle defines a genuinely tragic protagonist (or hero) as an admirable man (or woman) who is brought to misfortune through “some error of judgement.” He seems here to mean a moral weakness in the protagonist’s character, sometimes called a tragic “flaw.” But Aristotle also notes elsewhere that the power of Fate must also be involved in bringing about the hero’s fall from grace. In your essay, demonstrate how, in Sophocles’ play, either one of these factors, or both, is involved in bringing King Oedipus to misfortune. Is it primarily Oedipus’ pride (out of which arise his rash judgement and his arrogance) which is to blame? Or do external factors beyond the hero’s control (the power of Fate) play a greater role here? Or is it somehow a complex combination of both these influences? Take a position and examine the text for evidence to support your view. As in topic one, feel free to examine any part of the play, including the choral songs, that might support your argument. Note: One way to establish the power of Fate is Oedipus’ life is to examine the backstory: the Oedipus myth. That should provide a rich opportunity for research (and you can start by reviewing the course file in Content on the Oedipus myth, but that should be supplemented by sources outside the course). Also, some episodes in Oedipus’ life are only indirectly referenced in the play itself. For example, his encounter with the elderly man (whom later he discovers was his own birth father) at the “place where three roads meet” is only indirectly mentioned in the play itself, but you can find out more by reading sources on the myth.3. August Wilson’s 1985 play Fences, set in Pittsburg, PA primarily during the 1950s, may fairly be described as a tragedy (despite many comic moments), though not a tragedy that conforms to the ancient Greek model. The play’s protagonist, Troy Maxson, is the conflicted figure around whom the drama unfolds. Troy, a 53-year-old trash collector when the action opens, engages in external conflict with both of his sons (as well as his wife, Rose), but the most important conflict is internal. Thesis prompt: What is the nature of Troy’s internal conflict, one which makes it impossible for him to display affection for his sons, and which ultimately destroys his marriage? Additional questions: What do the early scenes of the play reveal about Troy’s character, both his admirable qualities and his flaws? Why is Troy so opposed to his son Cory’s dreams of succeeding in sports? How does this opposition result in serious conflict between father and son? What do we learn about Troy’s childhood and his relations with his own father that might help explain his difficulties in showing affection to his sons? To what extent is Troy responsible (and blameworthy) for driving Cory out of the house? How does Troy justify his adulterous relations with Alberta? Is he entirely to blame for the failure of his marriage, or does Rose in some fashion contribute to that failure? How does the symbolism of fence building help to explain the tragic events in Act 2? Is there any sign in the play that Troy reaches a recognition of how his own errors of judgement have contributed to his son’s and his wife’s unhappiness? What indications of hope and forgiveness might be indicated in the final scene of the play, on the day of Troy’s funeral? (Please note that the series of questions following the thesis prompt can be sued to suggest an outline for your essay, though of course your body paragraphs should begin with proper topic sentences, not questions.) Note: Your research on this topic can and should include the two literary databases mentioned above, but you may also want to research some related background issues, such as discrimination in sport during the segregation era or the so-called Great Migration of blacks out of the South into the North (to cities like Pittsburg, for example, which is the setting for Fences).
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