Essay is based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus (1928)
Write a 3-4 page paper on ONE of the following topics:
1. Analyze how and why grotesque humour is used in Rabelais? Gargantua and Pantagruel (Chapter 1.XIII ?How Gargantua’s wonderful understanding became known to his father Grangousier, by the invention of a torchecul or wipebreech) and a contemporary cultural or literary text of your choice. You might consider one or more of the following: How and why does the humour reflect the degradation that is central to carnival? Is exaggeration important to our understanding of the humour? How and why? Do the images suggest abundance and renewal? How and why? You might also consider any striking similarities or differences between medieval and contemporary scatological humour.
2. Discuss how and why carnivalesque inversions are used to challenge patriarchal norms in Twelfth Night.
3. Analyze the role of masquerade and/or disguise in Twelfth Night OR The Circus. You might consider one or more of the following: How and why does disguise / masquerade add to the topsy-turvy world of the text? What deeper truths do the masquerades / disguises reveal? Do the masquerades / disguises challenge the traditional norms of society? How and why?
4. Analyze the role of the carnival fool in Twelfth Night OR Charlie Chaplin?s The Circus. You might consider one or more of the following: Is he the licensed critic of his society? How and why? Does he embody a festive spirit? How and why? Is he ambivalent?