Paper Topics for final paper
European Literature I

Length: 2000 words (about 7-8 pages, but count words)
Weight: 30% of your grade

***** Follow the guidelines. . . Guidelines . . . Guidelines

Remember, the goal of the assignment is to get you to go back and take a very careful look and one (or more) work of literature, to analyze it, and to teach yourself something about it by discussing it. Once again, I welcome your own ideas for papers. Every paper must have a clear (but limited) thesis, i.e., a point.

You may discuss material from Greek literature in your paper as long as
1) you also discuss a work or works from the Roman or Medieval period (e.g., in comparison papers), and
2) you do not choose a work you dealt with in your first paper.

You might consider one of the following:

Compare a story from Dante with a Greek or Roman story.
(This would involve a detailed, point-by-point comparison whose point was to show how they differed from each other--and why. The "why" might involve discussion of the different goals of the authors.) The obvious choice would be some story out of the Troy legend, but there are many other possibilities.

The Inferno as an epic.
(This would obviously invite comparison with Homer, and perhaps Virgil.)

The roles of women in two medieval works, or in a medieval work and a Classical work
(How about Euripides and Chretien? [not if you already wrote on Medea] Chretien and Ovid?)

The changing image of the hero (Classical to medieval. See me if you want to try this one; otherwise your discussion will be loose and rambling.)

The development of Ywain
(analyze and discuss; point?)

Married love in Chretien and Ovid (or Boccaccio)

Compare Ovid's retelling of the Troy story with Homer's, or his retelling of the story of Jason and Medea with Euripedes'
(How are they different? Why are they different? What do you learn from the comparison?)

The idea of Justice in Medea and The Inferno

Love in two authors you have read
(This is a huge and complicated subject. Will you limit yourself to earthly love? married love? lust? love of God? What kind of value do the authors you choose place on love within their worldviews? Is it important? Is it the most important value in the culture? You decide on the questions and attempt to answer them.)

Dante's use of Classical literature
(this would have to be much more than a list; it would have to have a point)

The role of male comradeship in two works you have read
(How is it presented? How does it fit into the overall view of society of the authors you choose? Why is it important? How important? You decide on the questions and answer them.)

How men and women relate to each other in Chretien's work
(You would have to limit and organize your ideas. Your paper would have, as always, to have a point. Are you going to talk about "love" situations only? Are you going to discuss the "allowed" relationships? This is also a topic in which you could compare Chretien and Marie.)

The relation of love and power in Chretien/Dante/Boccaccio (choose one or two)

Treachery and betrayal in Ywain and The Inferno
(What is your point?)

There are many, many others. Choose the work you liked best, choose the character/situation/theme that appeals most to you, think about possible topics. .

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Rev 4/97