Assessment 2: Essay (1500 words +/- 10% – in-text citations and References are not included in the word count).
Weight: 40%
Due date: 5pm, Friday 3 October – to be submitted through TURNITIN on vUWS


Choose only one question from the list of 4 questions below and make an argued reflection and comparison of two of the set PRIMARY texts stated in the question.

Additional scholarly research is essential for this assessment. You must successfully integrate into your discussion at least 2 secondary critical sources to pass. One of these critical sources must originate from the Norton Critical Editions (if you use Hamlet and/or Oedipus Tyrannus to answer a question) or from the archival repository, JSTOR. The second source may come from any appropriate academic book or journal article of your choice. Non-scholarly sources are not permitted for this task.

To do well in this assessment, you will need to demonstrate critical engagement with, and close reading of the primary texts, and an awareness of the key themes of the unit. You also need to use appropriate textual evidence, integrate relevant quotes from the texts and secondary critical readings, and demonstrate a solid command of the academic standards of writing, referencing, and presentation (see pp.8-9 of the Unit Learning Guide).

Under no circumstances will resubmissions be permitted.


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* Bankstown Students: email Requests for Extension Forms with supporting documentation to Helen Koukoutsis H.Koukoutsis@uws.edu.au

* Parramatta Students: email Requests for Extension Forms with supporting documentation to Helen Basides H.Basides@uws.edu.au

A Request for Extension Form can be filled out and submitted with supporting documentation up to three days before the deadline of the assessment. Thereafter, you must submit a Special Consideration Form.

At the end of Act 1, Scene 3 of Hamlet (Shakespeare, 2011, pp.23-4, lines 114-135), Polonius warns his daughter, Ophelia, to be wary of Hamlet’s declarations of love for her, and commands her to no longer talk or spend time with Hamlet. Ophelia subsequently obeys his wishes. At the end of Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrranus, Oedipus, as a father, is also concerned for his daughters and their future marriageability in the shadow of his own downfall.

In the light of this statement, examine the attitude towards women in Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus.

Following on from Sigmund Freud’s identification of Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus as an exploration of repressed sexual childhood desires, many critics have gone on to interpret Sophocles’ play in psychological terms. Critics also argue that Shakespeare’s Hamlet exhibits a similar exploration of the psychological relationship between mothers and their sons.

In the light of this argument, discuss Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus as explorations of the sexual psychology which potentially underlines the relationships between Hamlet and Gertrude, and Oedipus and Jocasta respectively.

Rousseau opens his ‘Fifth Walk’ recalling the two months he spent on the Island of St Pierre happily basking in nature and dedicating time to idleness and solitude. Later, he reveals that he was not entirely alone on the Island. Wordsworth’s speaker also opens the poem, ‘Tintern Abbey,’ recalling the secluded scene of the banks of the Wye, which reflect his own secluded thoughts. Later, he, too, reveals the presence of a companion – his sister Dorothy.

In the light of this observation, examine Rousseau’s and Wordsworth’s paradoxical sentiments towards solitude and the self.

Obedience to the gods, the State, and family is central to the individual of the classical Greek period. However, increasing awareness of human force and will disrupt the old ways of thinking, and by the time we get to the Renaissance and Romantic periods, the individual depends less on God for moral guidance, States are under threat from something other than inquisitive old men, and solitude in nature is a cure for the socially corrupted mind.

Drawing on one classical and one Renaissance OR Enlightenment OR Romantic text you have studied so far this semester (weeks 2-10), explain how the individual has become more self-sufficient over the two time periods.

Marking Criteria

Criterion Standards
75-100 Good
65-74 Fair
50-64 Unsatisfactory
Answers the question Persuasively addresses the question, develops on a strong thesis, and compares texts logically, critically. Answers the question with some persuasion, develops on a plausible thesis, and compares texts well. Mostly addresses the question, develops on a thesis, but little original thought, and analysis; comparison of texts is basic. Descriptive; does not address question, weak or no thesis, unclear or no textual comparison.

Demonstrated understanding of unit themes and the primary texts
Insightful understanding of unit themes, comprehensively applied to an in depth examination of the primary texts. Understands, and, at times, can negotiate a reading of the primary texts with unit themes. Some examination of the primary texts. General understanding of unit themes, able to apply to a reading of the texts, but not examine their meanings. Substantial misunderstanding of unit themes. Evidence to suggest that texts have not been understood or read.
Appropriate use of textual quotes and examples to substantiate argument Successfully integrated quotes; textual examples enhance claims made. Effectively integrated textual examples and quotes that substantiate claims made. Some relevant textual examples; quotes are not always well integrated and/or well argued. Little, or irrelevant, or no textual examples/quotes used to substantiate argument.
Critical engagement with secondary sources Relevant use of secondary sources that enhance argument; well integrated and critiqued. Appropriate evidence used; secondary readings are well integrated and relevant. Some evidence of relevant readings; evidence supports argument, but is relied upon too heavily or is not well integrated. Minimal or no evidence of further reading; evidence does not support argument.

Clarity and precision of written expression Fluent, literate, clear expression – little or no grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors. Sound grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Well written – minor errors in expression. Generally well written – readable, but minor grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. Recurring errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling – does not meet minimum literacy standards.
Accuracy of in-text citations and Reference List Consistent and correct citations using APA or Chicago. A complete and accurate Reference List. Mostly consistent and correct citations using APA or Chicago. A complete and accurate Reference List. Attempt made to follow APA or Chicago referencing; inconsistent citations. A complete Reference List with minor errors. No citations, or citation errors throughout the essay; absent, or incomplete Reference List – fails to follow APA or Chicago conventions.

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