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For your first paper, I want you to explore how some aspect of either colonialism or gender functions in The Tempest.
Your specific focus is up to you, but your paper must incorporate in a significant way the arguments of at least two of the critical essays in your text. Doing this means, at the least, finding in at least one of these essays a critical framework for your own argument, and using a second essay as a way either to extend and develop the critical framework you have described, or as a way to explore possible criticisms or challenges to your own framework. What’s important to see here is that your paper must not use the critical essays that you cite as “secondary sources” that can be relegated either to brief quotations or to footnotes. Rather these critical essays must be made an integral part of your own discussion.
How do you do this? But what I can do is suggest some general ways for deciding which critics you will use, and how you will use them. First, you need to begin (not literally, but relatively early in your paper) with a critic whose overall view of the Tempest, or more accurately, whose view of how The Tempest should be understood in order to make the arguments the critic wants to make, seems potentially useful as a starting point for your own discussion. Second, you need to find a critic (or critics) whose arguments can be summarized, or more accurately, can be characterized in ways that support the specific claims that you are going to make. Finally, you need to make sure that the critics that you will use can provide support (and support can include addressing arguments that you are intending to challenge) not just for your overall discussion, but also support for specific claims that you want to make.
But this sounds far too mechanical, because in fact it won’t be until you have started writing the paper that you will have the kind of sense of how you will use critics that I’m saying your paper must have. As I began by saying, there aren’t any rules that will govern how you do this, and in particular, there aren’t any useful ways to say exactly how your paper should be constructed, or to say how specifically you should integrate the arguments of critics into your own discussion. On the other hand, several of the essays in your text in fact use the arguments of other critics as a framework for what they are doing, and you should feel free to take what they do as a model for your own essay.
The paper should be about 1500 words long
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