Due: Last Day of Class
For this project, you are going to do some research and write a paper. This project will extend your knowledge of drama from the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods, increase your understanding of culture and social context of those periods, and extend your perception of that world. You will explore works that focus on people outside the mainstream (or at least the power structures of that society: people of color; Jews, Muslims, Catholics, or other religious outsiders; and women. Your paper will focus on the treatment of, to use modern terms, marginalized or “othered” groups.
First, you will read one of the plays listed below. You will then do research on the following to provide a solid background for your discussion: a.) the author; b.) the specifics of the time of its writing (a decade or so on either side), as in what are some important events, people, discoveries, scientific innovations, etc.; c.) the play’s reception over time (was it well-received in its own time; has its reputation changed over time; is it still something that is read often; is it still performed, etc.?); and d.) literary criticism that discusses the approach to these “othered” groups in the work. This research should provide a solid foundation for your paper.
In our time, we still struggle with such things, and they are at the forefront of United States’ society right now. As we are in this moment, your paper should use your reading of the play and your research to build an argument focusing on the nature of such marginalization and othering in a way that would interest a modern audience and help to show the historical context of our particular modern struggle.
Your paper should be around 1500 words (around 6 pages), and it should be formatted in MLA manuscript form and cited in MLA form. This is open-ended to some degree, so enjoy thinking through this.
The Jew of Malta
The Masque of Blackness
The Duchess of Malfi
The Merchant of Venice