comparative analysis between Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Sir Orfeo (Middle English romance)
You need to think through WHY the two texts you have chosen invite comparison, and WHAT can be understood anew about both texts, and the subject matter they address, by comparing them to each other. Your paper is not a laundry list of things that are similar and different about two texts, but rather one coherent argument that is proved through comparison particular aspects of these two texts. You’ll want to think of the topic which you want to address in both texts, and then craft an argument that addresses that topic and is proved by careful analysis of the similarities and differences of particular parts of the texts.
Possible topics could include (but are by no means limited to):
• Theoretical study of the treatment of women, or men, or monsters, or minorities, or another sub-group of people in two literary works, arguing for what those differences tell the reader about the works’ historical contexts and the authors’ engagements with those contexts.
• Genre study of texts from two different genres (epic, lyric, drama, narrative) that address a similar topic (like love, death, God, dreams, chivalry, magic), arguing for how the different genres allow varying interpretive possibilities for the experience represented by the texts.
• Historical study of two texts of a similar genre written in two different periods, analyzing the way in which the literary form has changed and how those changes might reflect the context in which the texts were created.
• Issue-based study of two texts that address a similar social or political or religious issue from contrasting viewpoints, arguing for which text more effectively conveys its viewpoint
and how the language and style contributes to that effectiveness; or arguing for how the texts reveal their prejudices.
• Interdisciplinary study comparing the way that a similar subject (violence, diversity, piety, oppression, power, perhaps) is handled in a visual object and in a poem or play or narrative, discussing the limitations and benefits of both textual and visual art.
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