Shakespeare Comedies


Writing Assignment
Submit the short answer for part 1 and the essay for part 2 in one Microsoft Word file.
Part 1 – Short Answer Question (recommended word count: 100-150 words)
Select one of the conventions of New Comedy, mentioned in Maus’ article, that Shakespeare employs in some of his plays. Briefly describe this convention and provide an example from one of the comedies that you’ve read.
Part 2 – Essay (recommended word count: 900-1200 words)
Select one of the following prompts. Answer the questions in the prompt, then use your observations to formulate a thesis about the topic. In a short essay, introduce your thesis statement and support it with evidence from the two comedies that you’ve read for this lesson.

Prompt (For Essay):
In “Shakespearean Comedy,” Katharine Maus writes,
The premarital virginity of Shakespeare’s comic heroines is a nonnegotiable requirement, both for the men that love them and, apparently, for Shakespeare himself….
Shakespeare’s heroines are not chaste because chastity needs to be imposed forcibly upon them, but because they accept their culture’s notion of admirable conduct and take pride in their physical ‘purity.’ (pp. 110-11)
Consider the significance of chastity in the two comedies that you’ve read. How do social expectations for men and women influence the plot in each play? What was the social value of chastity in Shakespeare’s society?