Shakespare/Merchant of Venice

Essay II Prompt

Write a 5-page essay that uses close reading evidence to answer one of the following questions.

Due date: Friday, November 10th at 5 PM by email.

Write an essay that places a single animal metaphor in Titus against the other animal metaphors in the play and makes an argument about its significance in this broader context. What does your chosen metaphor tell us about the speaker and their argument at the moment it is spoken in light of the play’s broader obsession w/ the language of
animality?

Write an essay about one moment of reading or writing in Titus. How does it fit with or diverge from other moments of reading and writing in the play? Why is it important?

Merchant of Venice, like Othello, uses racially-inflected imagery about sheep sex. Discuss the exchange about moneylending and Jacob and Laban in Act 1 of Merchant (1.3.60-100). Why does this metaphor about generation, color mixing/shifts, livestock, and “kind” appear in the play? What does it tell us about the play’s understanding of race?
Discuss the “pregnant Moor” scene in Merchant (3.5.24-45). Why is this here?

Write an essay that analyzes either one speech by Aaron or one speech by Morocco and makes an argument about what their rhetoric reveals about them at this point in the play.

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