As we discussed in class on Monday, we are having a “virtual” discussion of our first reading, the “Prologue,” from Chaucer’s The Legend of Good Women. The goal is to draw out themes, questions, differing interpretations, and problems to fuel our discussion of both the “Prologue” and the legends of Cleopatra, Thisbe, and Dido for Monday. Keeping that in mind, please read the guidelines for responding carefully.
Guidelines for Responding
Before you begin crafting your response, read through this post and any comments to it, as well as any responses to the comments that have been posted. Then, ask yourself the following questions in the order they are listed below.
Are there any comments to this post without a reply?
If so, then reply to one of those comments, using the following guidelines as inspiration for how you might engage the comment’s author in conversation about the reading:
- Do you agree with the comment author’s analysis of the poem? If so, why, what evidence–from the LoGW Prologue, the Canterbury Tales, the shorter poems, the Jones book–can you offer to build upon or strengthen the comment author’s analysis?
- What are the implications of the comment author’s analysis of the poem for one or more of the “big ideas” we have been discussing over the course of the semester? For example, you might consider how the comment author’s analysis relates to the problem of interpreting history, that is the connection or disconnect between “real” history and the narratives we use to record or make sense of it. Or, you might consider whether the comment author’s analysis extends our discussion of Chaucer’s self-fashioning as an author, historian, political adviser, and poet. These are just examples of how you might engage the comment author’s ideas in this way.
- Do you disagree with the comment author’s analysis of the poem? If so, why, what evidence–from the LoGW Prologue, the Canterbury Tales, the shorter poems, the Jones book–can you offer that suggests an alternative line of analysis for the text?
Given that there are no comments to this post awaiting a reply, would you like to further the conversation by engaging with an existing discussion thread or starting your own?
- Do you want to engage with an existing thread? If so, then go right ahead, using the prompt above as inspiration for how you might engage constructively in the ongoing conversation.
- Do you want to start a new discussion thread? If so, do the insights you offer in your own new comment to this post extend or draw together lines of analysis from two or more discussion threads at once? Or does your comment offer insights that haven’t been previously noted in the other responses as well as evidence–from the LoGW Prologue, the Canterbury Tales, the shorter poems, the Jones book–to support those insights?
When we participate in existing conversations about literature or other topics in writing, it’s important to explore that conversation’s history and find a way to enter into it constructively, making an argument for why your contribution matters. Whether we decide to express agreement or disagreement, or add completely new ideas for consideration, we should use evidence to support those discursive moves. Following the guidelines above when you’re writing, whether you’re writing a blog post or a more traditional essay, will help you to become a more constructive and engaged participant in the conversations into which your writing enters.