Describe the historical context of the period

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Reference no: EM131349188


"My own answer to what the humanities are for is simple: They should help us to live. We should look to culture as a storehouse of useful ideas about how to face our most pressing personal and professional issues." - Alain de Botton, author and educator (MindEdge, Inc., 2014)

From your studies, you have seen how culture, belief systems, and exposure to the arts affect the way people view the world. Learning about these differences in perspective helps us to have a better understanding of what it means to be human. When we understand and value the humanistic point of view, we bring creative solutions and fresh new ideas to the challenges we face in our personal and professional lives. We are schooled in the fundamentals of close analysis, critical thinking, and teasing out the complexities of issues which have no simple right or wrong answer.

In this task, you will write an analysis (suggested length of 3-5 pages) of one work of literature. Choose one work from the list below:

Classical Period

  • Sophocles, Antigone, ca. 442 B.C.E. (drama)
  • Ovid, "The Transformation of Daphne into a Laurel," an excerpt from Book 1 of The Metamorphoses, ca. 2 C.E. (poetry)


  • Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, ca. 1601 (drama)
  • Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, the first 7 paragraphs of the "Oration on the Dignity of Man," ca. 1486 (essay excerpt)


  • Phillis Wheatley, "To S.M., a Young African Painter, on Seeing his Works." 1773 (poem)
  • Alexander Pope, "A Little Learning is a Dang'rous Thing" from An Essay on Criticism. 1711 (poem)


  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein. 1818 (novel)
  • John Keats, "Ode to Autumn" 1819 (poem)


  • Edith Wharton, House of Mirth. 1905 (novel)
  • Alfred Lord Tennyson, "Tears, Idle Tears." 1847 (poem)

Once you have selected and read the work, you will create a paragraph of descriptive writing with your personal observations about the work. This paragraph must be written before you do research on the work, the author, and the period it comes from. You will need to be quite detailed in your description of the work.

The next step will be to research the work, the life of the artist, and the period. You will then be ready to create your analysis. This process of analysis will require you to discuss the historical context of the work, pertinent aspects of the author's biography, themes and/or stylistic characteristics of its historical period, and finally, the relevance of this work for audiences today.

The final requirement of the task will be to reflect on this process of analysis and describe how your perception of the work changed.


A.  Record your initial reaction to the work (suggested length of 1 paragraph or half a page) by doing the following:

1. Describe your initial thoughts and/or feelings about the work.

2. Describe in detail at leastone aspect of the work that most interests you.

B. Analyze the work (suggested length of 2-4 pages) by doing the following:

1. Describe the historical context of the period in which the work was written.

2. Discuss insights into the work that can be gained from the author's biography.

3. Analyze how this work explores a particular theme and/or stylistic characteristic from its period.

4. Explain the relevance of this work for today's audiences.

C. Discuss how the deeper knowledge you gained through your analysis has informed or altered your thoughts and/or feelings about the work (suggested length of 1 paragraph or half a page).

D. When you use sources to support ideas and elements in a paper or project, provide acknowledgement of source information for any content that is quoted, paraphrased or summarized. Acknowledgement of source information includes in-text citation noting specifically where in the submission the source is used and a corresponding reference, which includes:

  • Author
  • Date
  • Title
  • Location of information (e.g., publisher, journal, or website URL)

Reference List:

Note: This reference list refers only to direct citations in the assessment above and may be different from those you need to complete the assessment. Consult your Course of Study for a list of suggested learning resources.

MindEdge, Inc. (2014). Introduction to the humanities. Waltham, MA: MindEdge, Inc.

Reference no: EM131349188

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The use of APA citation style is encouraged but is not required for this task. Evaluators will offer feedback on the acknowledgement of source information but not with regard to conformity with APA or other citation style. For tips on using APA style, please refer to the APA Resources web link found under General Information/APA Guidelines in the left-hand panel in Taskstream. No more than a combined total of 30% of a submission can be directly quoted or closely paraphrased from outside sources, even if cited correctly. For definitions of terms commonly used in the rubric, see the Rubric Terms web link included in the Evaluation Procedures section.

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