Please write an essay (of approximately one thousand words) on one of the following topics. The
introduction must have a thesis statement that identifies the subject of the essay, and the main
points you will use to explore that subject. The body of the essay develops the ideas introduced in
the thesis statement. The conclusion offers a summary that is compelling and convincing. Give
yourself plenty of time to re-read the essay before you hand it in. Eliminate all errors in punctuation,
format, and so on. I am looking for solid and exciting ideas expressed in clear and error-free prose.
Quote to substantiate your ideas. Root the essay in the language of the text you are discussing.
The essay is due at the start of your week-six tutorial.
1) G. R. Stirling Taylor argues that Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
“is...not so much an attack on the male sex; it is rather an attack on women.” Do you agree?
2) Consider Gary Kelly’s contention that, for Wollstonecraft, “women have a special burden of self
because of their limited, desultory, and largely ‘domestic’ education.”
3) In what ways do William Blake’s The Songs of Innocence and The Songs of Experience show “the
two contrary states of the human soul”?
4) The American critic Harold Bloom asserts that Wordsworth is pre-eminently “the poet of loss and
gain.” Examine this quotation with reference to either “Tintern Abbey” or “Ode: Intimations of
5) Discuss the importance to Wordsworth of one of the following: nature, memory, childhood, or
6) The Norton Anthology describes Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” as a poem of “dark
mystery.” What are the strengths and/or weaknesses of such a description?
7) One critic observes that “whether he is writing about a place of retirement, the frost at midnight,
the rime of the ancient mariner, or his own dejection, the central condition of Coleridge’s poetry is
guilt and its consequent isolation.” Discuss this quotation with specific reference to the “Rime of the
8) “Everything Shelley wrote,” observes one commentator, “is rooted in his radical ideology.”
Examine this statement in relation to his “Ode to the West Wind.”
9) “Under the richly sensuous surface,” writes the editor of the Norton Anthology, “we find Keats’s
characteristic presentation of all experience as a tangle of inseparable but irreconcilable opposites.”
Discuss “Ode to a Nightingale” as a poem of “inseparable but irreconcilable opposites.”