Select one (1)of the following poems and the indicated passages:(1) Dryden, “Mac Flecknoe,” lines 1–63;
(2) Behn, “The Disappointment,” lines 91–140;
(3) Pope, “The Rape of the Lock,” Canto 3, lines 125–178;
(4) Johnson, “The Vanity of Human Wishes,” lines 319–368.
In a close reading of the passage, analyse how a single formal elementmost significantly functions to affect and support meaning.
The following is a list of possible formal elements thatyou could choose:• alliteration• parallelism• apostrophe/address• personification• assonance/consonance• punctuation• caesura• repetition(s)• enjambment• rhyme• metaphor• simile• meter/rhythm• synecdoche• paradox• syntax(i.e., punctuation, word order, etc.)
In your essay, focus strictly on the passageindicated for the poem you select. You should establish the contextof the passage in the work as a whole (where is it in the poem? what is the situation? who is the speaker and/or point-of-view character, if any?), but your analysis should keep as much as possible to the passage. Regarding the formal element you choose, consider definingit clearly for your reader in the essay; refer to the Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms(4th ed.) or a similar source, such as A Glossary of Literary Terms(by Abramsand Harpham) or the “Glossary of Terms” intheBroadview anthologies.Your thesis should be narrow and argumentative. Make sure your thesis addresses why the specific formal element is crucial to the meaning of the passageand what you believe that meaning to be (i.e., the central question or issue or problem or idea at stake).