These are the teachers instructions III.Document Analyses A. The Passage Analysis assignment asks for a detailed study of a

These are the teachers instructions

III.Document Analyses
A. The Passage Analysis assignment asks for a detailed study of a specific passage, but you must also
keep in mind the broader text, and so I am also asking for an analysis of texts in their entirety. The
questions below may direct you to specific parts of the given reading, but you need to consider the
question within the context of the whole work. All of our texts this term, I hope, repay considering
both the forest and the trees, as it were.
B. Each of your Document Analyses should be not more than three pages. As with the Passage
Analysis assignment, keep in mind that this does not mean that you can cover every aspect of the
question. You will need at least two pages to answer these questions thoughtfully and thoroughly. A
one-page or one-and-a-half-page submission will not be thorough enough – if you really think
about it, it might even be difficult to fit everything into three pages. So, again, I am asking for both
detail and succinctness. Aim for thoroughness, specificity, and clarity. Specific references (in the
form of footnotes, please) to the texts will be necessary, as you will have to use examples from the
text to support your answer.
C. Again, I would suggest that you start with a draft in which you write down everything, and then go
back and identify the most important and significant of your points, focus on them and refine your
responses. In doing so, you may find it helpful to think about and narrow down the question on
which you have focused.
Choose one question from each of 1 and 2.
1. Abelard, Heloise, and Petrarch. Due: Monday, October 17.
Select one of the following questions:
i. Abelard, in his Historia Calamitatum recounts his sufferings, ostensibly as a way of offering
consolation to an unnamed friend, the recipient of the letter. In doing so, he offers a brief
biography and constructs an image of himself. Petrarch, in his Letter to Posterity, similarly
offers a biography and a reflection of himself. How do these two authors use their reflections on
their past to illustrate a process of self-reflection and consideration? (Or do they do so at all?)
ii. Select one of Heloise’s letters to Abelard. How does she, in her role as Abbess of the Paraclete,
conceive of her relationship to Abelard? What kind of relationship does she want from him?

For this document analysis use Petrarch, Selections from the Canzoniere and Other Works. Translated by M. Musa. New York

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