Tutor profile: Mimi W.
A classic sonnet has 14 lines of iambic pentameter and follows the rhyme scheme ABAB-CDCD-EFEF-GG. Donne’s “Holy Sonnet 14” and Yeats’ “Leda and The Swan" both have features that break away from a typical sonnet form. What does this reveal about the two poems?
In Donne’s “Holy Sonnet 14” and Yeats’ “Leda and The Swan,” both poets go against the norms of typical sonnets in many ways: from abnormal connotation to structural elements. By utilizing alliteration, deliberately breaking sonnet structure, and manipulating the implications of specific words, Donne and Yeats amplify the violent, disturbing, and unsettling nature of their poems. Through these strategies, the poets create sonnets that challenge the very nature of the sonnet form.
Many of Shakespeare's plays portray broken families, especially absent mothers. Consider "A Midsummer Night’s Dream," "Othello," and "The Merchant of Venice." What does this motif reveal about the destiny of women after getting married?
In his plays "A Midsummer Night’s Dream," "Othello," and "The Merchant of Venice," Shakespeare creates a triangulation between the father, daughter, and suitor that allows the plots to unfold. The cycle is perpetuated by an incomplete triangulation of the father’s generation, as the mothers in all three plays are missing or do not appear as characters. The triangulation is complete by the end of each play with the marriage of the daughters; however, all of the daughters are silenced by the end of their plays. This silence could be the beginning of what forces married women into the absent mother role, starting this cycle all over again.
How does Philip Roth narrativize and exemplify the 20th century Jewish-American experience in his novel "The Ghost Writer?"
Philip Roth’s novel "The Ghost Writer" tackles one of the most difficult questions in Jewish literature: what it means to be Jewish-American. The protagonist, Nathan Zuckerman, has to navigate the space between “Jewish” and “American” while simultaneously interrogating his own authenticity. Tension rises in the novel as Nathan faces an internal battle between standing his ground versus needing others to validate his Jewish-American identity – and Roth leaves readers questioning what is true or untrue, and what kinds of narratives are actually the most damaging.