ENG 2111 World Lit

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Purpose: For this assignment, you’ll explore one of the topics below, comparing and contrasting Shahnameh and Inferno, and present it to your instructor via 8-10 slides and an oral video presentation. This assignment will build your writing, analysis, and both visual and oral presentation skills.

You may be able to further flesh out the writing you have already done in discussions towards these goals. If you choose a different topic than the ones on which you have already written, the discussion posts and responses may still be useful and inspiring to you. However, be careful you don’t plagiarize your classmates’ work.

Tasks:

First, choose one of the following two topics:

Topic #1: Unit 1B’s introduction to the Five Great Themes of World Literature states with regard to the hero: “The surest way to understand what a culture of the past most values is to focus on what it considers heroic, in that a culture recognizes its heroes as embodying its most important ideas, the values that are essential.” Discuss the diverse values that our two epic heroes, Rustem and Dante, embody.

  • Which values embodied by these epic heroes are endorsed or celebrated by their societies?
  • Are any of their values condemned or rejected by their societies?
  • Illustrate your discussion with specific examples of the heroes’ obligations to their societies and what their values reflect about their cultures.

One passage you should include in your discussion reflects Dante’s feelings at the beginning of his journey:

  • 110 I bowed my head and held it low at last
  • 111 the poet said: ‘What are your thoughts?’
  • 112 In answer I replied ‘Oh,
  • 113 how many sweet thoughts, what great desire
  • 114 have brought them to this woeful pass!’ (Canto V).

Topic #2: Although two very different literary works, both the Shahnameh and Inferno deal centrally with the existence of human suffering and mortality. Discuss how the two deal with such issues as

  • what causes human suffering;
  • what seems inevitably tragic about human existence;
  • how one should deal with suffering;
  • what one should learn from an understanding of human mortality.
  • One passage you should include part or all of in your presentation is from the section about Saiawush. Rustem loved Saiawush, the son of Kai Kous. The passage says,
    • “By the hairs of his head they dragged him [Saiawush] unto a desert place, and the sword of Gersiwaz was planted in the breast of the royal cedar. But when it was done, and they had severed the head from the trunk, a mighty storm arose over the earth, and the heavens were darkened (Saiawush).

From the Shahnameh, your presentation will probably focus on Rustem, Sohrab, and/or Saiawush; for Dante, you have many options, but the following characters and their sad stories make especially good choices for the subject (but you can choose others if you wish; just one will do): Virgil, Francesca, Pier della Vigna, Brunetto Latini, Guido de Montefeltro.

Second, create a slide presentation of your argument. Include both text and images that illustrate and enhance the points you are making. Use the following as an outline of what to include:

  1. Explain the general topic and relevant themes (e.g. heroes, suffering) and any relevant terms for that topic (suggested 2-3 slides).
  2. Apply that topic to both Shahnameh and to Inferno. Give specific examples and quotes from the texts to illustrate your points (suggested 5-7 slides).
  3. Your final slide should be your Works Cited slide, with both texts in MLA format.

Check the Building a Great Presentation page and accompanying links in the How to Succeed in this Course module for more assistance. Make sure you save time to submit your draft to Tutor.com via the free Tutoring Services link for helpful feedback before the due date.

Third, and finally: you’ll practice presenting this information, then record yourself through the assignment drop-box and upload the recording along with your slides. IMPORTANT: to record your video directly within the assignment, first click “add attachment,” then “record video” to record directly from your computer’s webcam. Note you will need to make sure your browser allows GoView access to record video. You can also record yourself using your phone’s camera and upload the video recording as an attachment.

You’ll be graded on your ability to explain and analyze your topic through both your slides and your oral presentation, as well as your effective use of visuals and your MLA formatting. Familiarize yourself with the criteria below and the grading requirements by going under Assessments/Rubrics in your navbar to the Unit 5 Presentation Rubric SP21.

Criteria on which you will be graded:

  • Your compare/contrast arguments are thoughtful
  • Your slides and your oral presentation are well-organized
  • Your analysis is specific and original
  • Your effective use of both language and visuals
  • Your quotations and Works Cited are correctly formatted in MLA style
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