Consider the role of women in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. In what ways are women represented differently than in heroic tales such a Beowulf? What do women’s roles in this tale suggest about the ideals of the Medieval Romance?
Consider the role of Monsters in Beowulf. In what ways do they serve the purpose of this Christian era tale? In what ways might they undermine the Christian values of the text?
Consider the critique of religious corruption, or of courtly love in the Miller’s Tale. Explain the importance of “God’s Privetee” in the Miller’s “quiting” of the Knight.
In a discussion of either Julian of Norwich’s “Showings,” or of the Book of Margery Kemp[sic], discuss the ways in which the author uses and extends the notion of “affective piety” in order to empower women spiritually and/or socially.
See what I mean about this guy trying to shoehorn discussions on feminism into the class? I mean, sure it's a valid topic, but given the limited amount of time with which we have to discuss British Literature from Beowulf to Thomas Gray, you'd think there wouldn't be room for feminism to take up fifty percent of the midterm prompts.
But, obviously, there's not a lot of imagination at work in these prompts. And here's the kicker--the paper I wrote, which was a page and a half, is too short. The teacher had forgotten to specify length, so while everyone who turned it in on Thursday gets credit, a lot of us have to pad our papers out to five and a half pages. How the hell am I supposed to wring four more pages out of this thing? I chose number four, by the way, and Julian of Norwich. A page and a half was all I needed to discuss how The Book of Showings used affective piety to break barriers for women writers. It's done.
Though, incidentally, he's the one who told us about how affective piety was used by these writers to expand their turfs as women. It's his argument he wants echoed back at him, just like all the other prompts are either about his arguments or points made by the text book. Except I have four pages of padding to do, which inevitably can't communicate anything except, "Yes, I read it, yes, I was listening, yes, I read it, yes, I was listening." Which, I know, I know, is obviously going to be the point, except I find writing about the things I want to write about difficult enough. I find it almost impossible to write shit on purpose. I need an angle, or I'm just Piggy's brains on the rocks.
The Beowulf question might have been a little more interesting, except Beowulf was reminding me too much of Caitlin. Though--would you believe it--I'm mainly beating my brains out about Sonya lately. We had such a good rapport, why'd she have to--
No, must stop. It's no good, puzzling over things with no answers. Best to look for soluble problems elsewhere, as Morteirmiru said. Morteirmiru who ran off with Sonya.
I guess that's as good an explanation as any. I suppose it'll have to do, anyway.
On a more positive note, I downloaded every Led Zeppelin album to-day. I normally don't like to listen to music with lyrics while I write, especially lyrics I haven't heard before, but I have a feeling what I'm going to be writing is going to be so vapid it won't matter. I wish I had some Atomic Fireballs . . .