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Postcolonial Theme of Oppression in Gilgamesh and The Tempest
In this essay, you are expected to do the following: We are looking at postcolonial theory as an approach for literary analysis, reading The Epic of Gilgamesh in its entirety, and reading Acts I and II of The Tempest. The Essay 1 assignment will combine each of these three things. As this is an academic essay,
1. Select one of the themes of postcolonial theory that you would like to explore. This will be the lens through which you look at the literature. You’ll find a list in the postcolonial theory lecture, as well as some ideas in your assigned reading from the Innes textbook. As I mentioned in the lecture, there are many more options available than just what is included in the list. If you would like to focus on a theme outside of that list, that shouldn’t be a problem, but you must double-check with me first.
2. Describe how the lens fits into postcolonial theory and explain why it’s a good choice for the literature. What ideas can be included in that lens? Why is it a worthwhile lens for discussing these particular stories?
3. Apply that lens to The Epic of Gilgamesh and Acts I and II of The Tempest. How does the theme function within these stories? What tensions and insights arise? Are there valuable similarities and differences between how the theme is represented in these two works? Remember that the ultimate goal of a postcolonial literary analysis is to use the literature as a means to make a broader point about the theme, a point that goes beyond the pages of the stories. Ultimately, the analysis should answer this question: What does the literature teach us about how (your chosen theme) works?