Using the library’s databases2

Using the library’s databases (and not the World Wide Web) locate materials that expand your understanding of Richard II or Henry IV Part I; you may use full-text articles that you find in on-line database offered by the library; you may also use articles that appear in the library’s own collection of hard-copy literary journals. Books on the play or on Shakespeare’s life and times or historical events connected to the play’s story or subject matter are also acceptable sources, as are reference works. Locate one such source and make a hard copy of the article, entry, or book section. Then, in the following order: Briefly summarize the secondary source in a long paragraph or so. Include a bibliographic entry in accordance with the MLA style of documentation (the information that would appear on a Works Cited page.) Write an essay or a series of short responses that answer the following questions: 1.) What question about the play’s history, background, themes, characters, structure, language, interpretation or sources does the secondary source you’ve located answer? 2.) What, then, is the answer? How are we to read or perform the play in the light of the information and/or interpretation offered by the secondary source? 3.) Does the secondary source directly mention the play, or are you drawing inferences about the play from historical material? How can you, with confidence, make the connection/ 4.) Is the writer of the secondary source simply offering an aid to interpretation? Or is he/she advancing a thesis about how the play should be read or performed?


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