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Tutor profile: Damian S.

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Damian S.
English student, Writing Center Tutor
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

The following block of text is taken from the body paragraph of an essay on Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure." Re-write this paragraph to make sure it is grammatically consistent, adheres to MLA format, conveys its ideas clearly, and relates to the essay's thesis. Thesis: At the end of Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure," the duke proposes to Isabel, but Shakespeare decides to end the play before Isabel can accept his proposal. Through the story, Isabel is depicted in a prolonged fight to maintain her dignity and what independence she has. With that in mind, it is clear that she will not accept his offer after the play ends. Paragraph to correct: Never in any interaction with the Duke and Isabel is there chemistry. Also, Isabel thinks he’s a friar for most of the story. When he finally makes his proposal he actually sounds like he’s arguing with her this time: “If he be like your brother, for his sake is he pardoned; and for your lovely sake, give me your hand and say you will be mine…” (Measure for Measure, act 5). Basically he holds his good deeds over her to win her love. The duke is exploiting her but in a smarter way because he knows that Isabel was threatened by Angelo, now that he saved her from Angelo he made himself look like the hero and then proposed to her just after. Isabel was suspicious of men in authority before so she would probably be suspicious of the duke here. When she resisted Angelo’s advances, she said: “Because authority, though it err like others, hath yet a kind of medicine in itself that skin the vice o’ th’ top…” (Measure for Measure, act 2). This is also applicable to the duke because he manipulates the plays events under the assumption he’s right. If you think of Isabel is a woman who desires to control herself and is suspicious of men like who the duke who wield authority than its hard to imagine she would accept his proposal.

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Damian S.
Answer:

Corrected paragraph: Never, in any interaction between the Duke and Isabel, is there a hint of romantic chemistry. Furthermore, Isabel believes him to be a celibate friar for most of the story. When the Duke makes his proposal, he presents it in a way which is almost argumentative: “If he be like your brother, for his sake / Is he pardoned; and for your lovely sake, / Give me your hand and say you will be mine…” (5.1.562-564) The Duke, like Angelo before him, is exploiting Isabel—though in a smarter way. He is using the entire situation with Angelo to his advantage, ensuring that Angelo is the villain of the story and that he is the hero. Isabel has show suspicion for men of authority throughout the play. In her first appeal to Angelo, in Scene 2.2, she tells him: “Because authority, though it err like others, / Hath yet a kind of medicine in itself / That skins the vice o’ th’ top…” (2.2.164-166) Not only does this demonstrate Isabel’s awareness of the nature fo authority, it is also applicable to the Duke, who manipulates the play’s events without considering his own morality. In this metaphor, his return to power and apparent heroism is the medicine which covers the vice. If we are to take Isabel for a woman who desires control over herself and is suspicious of being exploited by men with authority (such as the Duke), it is impossible to imagine she would voluntarily accept his proposal.

Subject: Literature

TutorMe
Question:

Sir Thomas More's "Utopia" makes use of a fictional idyllic society to expose the corruption of 16th century Britain. In Voltaire's own satire, "Candide," the author does something similar with his depiction of the mythical El Dorado. Describe how Voltaire's use of El Dorado is similar to More's Utopia.

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Damian S.
Answer:

Voltaire's use of the mythical El Dorado in "Candide" is quite similar Thomas More's Utopia. More's entire work is a satirical riff on magazines which were popular in his era, which featured written accounts from European explorers of people from far-off lands. It shouldn't be assumed that More considers Utopia perfect -- he was a devout catholic and was later sainted, after all, while the utopians are not even Christians -- but the example of Utopia is used to highlight particular deficiencies in his society, like its response to crime, class inequality, and ineffective royalty. Voltaire dips his toes in a similar technique, though his use of El Dorado is just one stop on Candide's journey; less the focus of the entire work. This similarity is most stark when the King of El Dorado tells Candide: "I don't understand this passion you Europeans have for our yellow dirt, but take all you want, and much good may it do you." The yellow dirt is gold, of course. This immediately evokes the Utopians' use for gold: in the making of chamber pots. The depiction of indigenous Americans as immune to materialism has its roots in well-documented accounts of the Aztec disregard for gold, and other such stories. Voltaire, like other European writers and satirists, uses it to expose the folly of Old World materialism. Unlike More, however, I think that Voltaire is more blatantly trying to depict a perfect society. Though our current use of the word "utopia" may confuse the matter, More did not intend for his Utopia to be perfect. Voltaire's El Dorado seems much more like a personal fantasy of his, which is most evident in the religion of El Dorado. Whereas More's Utopian religion did not align with the author's own, the religion of El Dorado is strikingly similar to Voltaire's personal beliefs. The people of El Dorado find it quite obvious that there is only one god, with no reason to question it. They also don't pray to this one god, because they see no need to ask the world for more than they already have. Their religion has no organization whatsoever, rather being left to common people to practice in private. The description of this religion is extremely similar to the semi-agnostic Deism that Voltaire allegedly subscribed to. In the setting of El Dorado, it seems like Voltaire took the opportunity to create a society as reflective of his own convictions as possible. As Candide returns to Europe and continues his perilous journey, he and the reader will retain the memory of El Dorado and likely draw comparisons to it and 18th century Europe. This has the same effect as More's Utopia, in that it "hold a mirror up to society."

Subject: English

TutorMe
Question:

Which of these sentences is grammatically correct? A.) Who's shirt got left on you're moms most favorite carpet? B.) Who's shirt was left on your mom's favorite carpet? C.) Whose shirt was left on you're mom's favorite carpet? D.) Whose shirt got left on your moms most favorite carpet?

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Damian S.
Answer:

Answer: C.) Whose shirt was left on your mom's favorite carpet?

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