Project #157091 - Critical Essay

Philosophy Tutors

Subject Philosophy
Due By (Pacific Time) 12/10/2016 08:00 pm

In your essay, you will explore the individual aesthetic works in a more formal manner than we did in our conversations in Discussion 2. Below, you will find links to three poems and three paintings. Some of these (the Romantic and Modernist works) are poems and paintings you should be familiar with from our class discussions, while two of them (the Neoclassical works) are new to you. Each set below includes one Neoclassical work, one Romantic work and one Modernist work.


Poetry Selections:

To His Coy Mistress (Links to an external site.) -- by Andrew Marvell

Annabel Lee (Links to an external site.) -- by Edgar Allan Poe

anyone lived in a pretty how town (Links to an external site.) -- by E. E. Cummings


Painting Selections:

Intervention of the Sabine WomenPreview the documentView in a new window -- by Jacques-Louis David

Massacre at ChiosPreview the documentView in a new window -- by Eugene Delacroix

GuernicaPreview the documentView in a new window -- by Pablo Picasso



For the purposes of the essay, you will choose only one set of examples to work with – eitherthe poetry or the paintings (not both, as we did in our class discussion). For each of the three works in your chosen set, you will analyze the work in terms of how it reflects the stylistic tendencies, the thematic concerns, and the general cultural priorities of the style and time period it represents. For instance, what features and details of the Edgar Allan Poe poem called "Annabel Lee" reflect Romanticism and the Romantic style? (And so on for each of the three poems or each of the three paintings.) Support your analysis with clear references to specific details from each work to illustrate your claims.

After analyzing each work in turn (ideally, in chronological order, unless you have a good reason for using a different approach), you'll also be expected to draw comparisons and contrasts among the three works, with your analysis of those juxtapositions informed by the information you have regarding the respective styles and time periods. For instance, each of the poems deals in some way with a love relationship; each also implies something about the passage of time. In each case, however, the attitude to these themes is different. What are those differences, and how can those differences be traced back to the differing motivations and concerns of Neoclassicism, Romanticism, or Modernism?

Similarly, in considering the paintings, each one deals with some kind of conflict. The way in which they each represent those conflicts, however, differs significantly. How do those differences in appearance reflect the stylistic commitments of Neoclassicism, Romanticism, or Modernism? What sort of theme or themes get highlighted in each case, and how can those decisions be traced to the concerns of the respective time periods of the works?

In addition to the contextual information on each of the three time periods available to you in the Unit 3 reading material, I've made additional information available below. The document titled Some General Principles includes both general information about each of the three cultural periods and some specific aesthetic (artistic) characteristics pertinent to each of the three styles.

 Also, you should supplement your analysis with citations to the reference sources I've provided on the Critical Essay Resources page (use the Next button at lower right to advance to that page). At least three of those provided reference sources must be used and cited in your essay (at least one source for each time period or style). You're also required to provide a Works Cited page for the sources you use and to provide internal citation notes at those points in your essay where you draw upon information or ideas found in those sources. Use the MLA format and citation style to document your use of these sources. At the bottom of the Critical Essay Resources page, you will find a set of links that lead to resources that can assist you with implementing this citation style correctly.




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