The Epic of Gilgamesh- Postcolonial Theory

we are looking at postcolonial theory as an approach for literary analysis, reading The Epic of Gilgamesh in its entirety, and reading Acts I and II of The Tempest. The Essay 1 assignment will combine each of these three things. Follow formal writing conventions: scholarly language; APA citation style; and clear organization (an identifiable introduction and conclusion with several separate body paragraphs in between).  Here’s the path for an effective postcolonial analysis:  1. Select one of the themes of postcolonial theory that you would like to explore. This will be the lens through which you look at the literature. You’ll find a list in the postcolonial theory lecture. If you would like to focus on a theme outside of that list, please double-check with me first.  2. Describe how the lens fits into postcolonial theory and explain why it’s a promising choice for the literature. What ideas can be included in that lens? Why is it a worthwhile lens for discussing these particular stories?  3. Apply that lens to The Epic of Gilgamesh and Acts I and II of The Tempest. How does the theme function within these stories? What tensions and insights arise? Are there valuable similarities and differences between how the theme is represented in these two works? Remember that the ultimate goal of a postcolonial literary analysis is to use the literature as a means to make a broader point about the theme, a point that goes beyond the pages of the stories. Ultimately, the analysis should answer this question: What does the literature teach us about how (your chosen theme) works Additional advice: As much as your schedule allows, write this essay slowly and in a few different sessions. Write a first draft, leave it alone for a while, and then come back to it. Your brain will be working on it in the meantime even when you aren’t aware, and a little separation often brings clarity. Very few people can write an effective essay in one sitting.  Your essay should be a postcolonial analysis, not just a character study or a general discussion of symbols in the literature. If you need any help working through those ideas, please ask. It’s part of my job, and I enjoy doing it. Also, please be sure to check out the Postcolonial Themes Cheat Sheet in case you aren’t sure how to go about applying your chosen lens to the writing. There isn’t a required length, but successful essays are generally between 1,000 and 1,500 words in length. If it’s shorter, your analysis may not be deep enough or include enough specific examples from the text. If it’s longer, you may have included too much plot summary or other padding. Use the rubric as a guide. There’s no need to include much (if any) plot summary. Write as though your audience is already familiar with the story: they may need a few brief reminders here and there, but they do not need you to rehash the entire plot. You are welcome to bring outside sources into your essay but do not over-rely on the ideas of others. Your sources should support your ideas, not stand in for your ideas, so outside material shouldn’t be more than 20% of the essay. Do some prewriting to list your own thoughts and insights before looking to outside sources. Remember the style advice from the Guide to Literary Analysis lecture. To make sure you’re staying appropriately objective in your approach, avoid “I” language and “you” language, as well as conversational flourishes. If you have any questions about these style conventions, please ask!  Outline Template I. Introduction a. Opening sentence b. Brief summary of each work (2-3 sentences each). Make sure you provide title and specific acts from the play. c. Thesis. Make sure you identify the post-colonial theory you will focus on in this paper. II. Description of Theme a. Name the theme within post-colonial theory b. Provide definition c. Describe impact of theme in post-colonial theory d. Transition into explaining why you chose this theme III. Rational for Selection a. How did you make this theme? b. Why did you choose this theme? c. Transition into exploring Gilgamesh IV. Gilgamesh a. Example of theme within Gilgamesh i. Provide quote to support idea. Parenthetical citation should include author’s last name, year of publication, and page/paragraph number (Mason, 2003, p. 98) b. Example of theme within Gilgamesh i. Provide quote to support idea. c. Example of theme within Gilgamesh i. Provide quote to support idea. d. Conclusion statement and transition into The Tempest V. Act I and II of The Tempest a. Example of theme within Acts I and II of The Tempest i. Provide quote to support idea. Parenthetical citation should include author’s last name, year of publication, and act, scene, and line numbers (Shakespeare, 2003, 1.2.75-80) b. Example of theme within Acts I and II of The Tempest i. Provide quote to support idea. c. Example of theme within Acts I and II of The Tempest i. Provide quote to support idea. d. Conclusion statement and transition into conclusion VI. Conclusion a. Restatement of thesis b. Brief summary of post-colonial theme and connections to both works (2-3 sentences) c. Final statement.

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