Develop an essay response (750 words) to ANY AND ONLY ONE of the following topic/questions. LABEL YOUR ANSWER, SO THAT IT IS CLEAR WHICH TOPIC/QUESTION YOU ARE RESPONDING TO. Take your time so that you can produce a polished final product, but DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. (In other words, don't wait until the last minute to prepare and submit your essay. It just won't work!) Provide a title and a well-organized introductory paragraph for your essay, which should be written in formal academic prose (in other words, not a personal essay).
Do not use the first-person singular, contractions, colloquialisms, or direct address; always provide appropriate transitions. An effective tactic is to re-word the actual topic in that introductory paragraph, so that it becomes a thesis statement. As you then go on make a case defending the position that you have taken, be sure to use supporting evidence from the text(s) for each point that you wish to make. A summarizing conclusion should round things out.
A. Refute or defend the logic of Machiavelli's contention that, in the final analysis, a prince ought to desire more to be feared than to be loved because he cannot control how people may love him, but he can control how they may fear him.
B. Refute or defend the wisdom of Machiavelli's contention that, in the final analysis, a prince ought to desire more to be feared than to be loved because he cannot control how people may love him, but he can control how they may fear him.
C. How does Hamlet use Polonius to his own advantage as he tries to discover the truth behind his father's death? How does the fact that Claudius's court is a place of intrigues and sycophants further help Hamlet?
D. In what ways do Fortinbras and Laertes, by acting as foils to Hamlet as other sons affected by a father's loss, comment positively on Hamlet's behavior? Negatively?
E. How much does it appear that Sor Juana is having a friendly literary joust with the bishop of Puebla? How much does it appear that she is nevertheless putting him in his place?
F. Historically speaking, readers today may find it incredible that Douglass, himself a victim of the abuses of slavery, felt a need to come up with principled arguments against the enslavement of human beings. What does that strategy on his part nonetheless reveal about how entrenched slavery was as an institution in the American experience? What does the same strategy reveal about his audience?
G. Why does it benefit the theme of The Waste Land for T.S. Eliot to combine elements from such a geographically, historically, and linguistically wide variety of cultural, literary, and spiritual settings to portray the modern world in that poem?
H. Eliot has suggested that myth can give order to the chaos of modern life. How does his using myths of the quest for the grail and of ancient vegetation rituals work in the poem? Discuss how those myths do or do not help make it more accessible for the reader?
I. In how many ways is Achebe's title that "things fall apart" significant for Okonkwo? For the Ibos? For any human structures or systems? What, then, in Achebe's view, might not fall apart?
J. If Zaabalawi is a symbol, what does he symbolize? Explain.
G. Discuss "Zaabalawi" as a story, pure and simple, in terms of the refrain from the childhood song, that the world has lost all its taste. Why might it be particularly significant that it is a childhood song?