Thursday, April 24, 2008

This week's Shakespeare blog

WHAT: Write a full-length blog entry (approximately 800-1000 words) discussing and evaluating Shakespeare’s presentation of the character of Shylock and the extent to which that presentation either endorses or subverts prevailing Elizabethan anti-Semitism.

WHEN: Entries are to be posted no later than Friday, May 2.

HOW: Begin by reading the resources available at Prof. Grant Stirling’s web site. You should also identify some other relevant resources, but this site will serve as an introduction to the issues and evidence of this debate. In your entry, show your understanding, both of the topic and of the play, by evaluating the evidence on both sides and presenting your own conclusions.

Since this essay involves some research, be certain both to document your sources and to give credit for ideas as well as direct quotations. Use act, scene, and line numbers for quotations from the play, and put other sources in parenthetical citations. You may also, if it serves your purposes, refer to Michael Radford’s film version of the play.

SUGGESTIONS: Read all the available information, paying special attention to what you find most persuasive. Give fair treatment to the different sides of the question. In your evaluation, state which ideas you believe are strongest and why. Support your reasons by referring to the play itself.