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World Literature

Short Answer Questions
Answer three (3) of the following questions with short essays of 2-3 paragraphs each.

1: Compare and contrast the way that Petrarch, Shakespeare and Donne each portray their lovers in the sonnets “Father in Heaven, after each lost day” (p.169), “My mistress’s eyes are nothing like the sun” (p.179) and “Batter my heart” (p.769).

2: How does Montaigne portray the Native Americans of his era, and to what end does he use this comparison? In other words, what is he trying to say when he uses Native Americans in his writing?

3: Don Quixote seems to be a very ambivalent portrayal of romance, with Cervantes openly criticizing stories of knightly adventure while, at the same time, Quixote himself is portrayed as a sympathetic and noble (though comedic) figure. Ultimately, do you find Cervantes and his book to be more appreciative of, or more dismissive of, the genre of epic romance?

4: Analyze Shakespeare’s portrayal of the themes of “truth” or reality vs. “play” or seeming in Hamlet. In other words, how is “play” or acting represented and what is its relationship to “the truth”? Do you see the play itself saying something more generally about how we act, as people?

5: Milton argues that Adam is a heroic figure, more heroic than Achilles or Aeneas. What is his defense for this statement? Are there examples in which Adam is “heroic”? Do you agree or disagree with Milton’s claim, and why?

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