Revision materials

(Schuiten & Peeters strike again…)


  • You have a choice of THREE QUESTIONS. Please answer in the form of an ESSAY. You will be expected to use direct quotations from the text to support your ideas and argument.Please answer ONE QUESTION ONLY, and submit all notes.Answer with reference to ONE of the texts we have read so far. And ONLY ONE.


    (1) How can intrigue be central to a literary work? Consider one of the following topics:
    • overall structure and organization;
    • narrative pace and development;
    • a key character or relationship;
    • a central instance of intrigue acting as lynchpin/pivot to a work as a whole.

    (2) Identify one specific textual passage, episode, or protagonist that you consider to be a particularly fine example of intrigue.
    Explain and defend your choice.

    (3) What is intrigue? How has your perception of intrigue changed (if it has done so) over the last seven weeks?



You MAY bring your texts, including any notes, post-its, sticky-notes, and other marks in them and written materials physically attached to them (so long as they are no larger than a page of the book in which they are inserted). These notes count as an integral part of your book for the purposes of this course and this examination.

NB: Indeed, you should bring at least two of the course’s set texts with you, as you will need them for part of the exam!

Your notes MAY include material relating to the exam topics (see further below), but SHOULD NOT be digested pre-written essays (I’ll be checking…).

You MAY NOT bring any other written materials with you, including writing in an electronic form.

You MAY NOT use any electronic devices during this exercise.

There will be two questions on the exam: a shorter one and a longer one. Both questions will relate to the course description:

Conspiracy, plots and plotting, manoeuvrings and machinations, gossip and rumour, tale-telling and the telling of tales.

Our central theme brings together ideas familiar to the 21st-century reader, viewed through the lens of some of the finest and most intriguing pre-Modern texts, originally written in France, Italy, and Spain in the 12th to 17th centuries […]

Allied topics of crime, mystery, and the playing of games open up further issues of writing, rewriting, reading, and commentary: this course will involve elements of literary detection.

and to definitions of “intrigue”:

Explain how your project explores our topic of “intrigue,” in whatever sense you wish to use the term.
Maximum length: one page (single- or double-spaced)
(25% of exam mark)

ESSAY: Compare the treatment of an aspect of intrigue in TWO of the texts read in this course: any aspect of intrigue, using any of the criteria in the course description and dictionary definitions above.

You ARE expected to support your point and arguments with evidence from the course texts.
You are NOT expected to cite precisely and at length: something along the lines of “p. 83, near the top” or “I remember […] under it.” (Lazarillo 26) will be enough for me to locate the passage in question. You SHOULD NOT devote precious time and space to paraphrase and summary, and you SHOULD ALSO NOT copy out lengthy passages: remember, you should be spending most of your time thinking (and analysing) and writing your own thoughts (and further and higher synthesis…).
This is an ESSAY: while it should mostly concern the two texts you are comparing, you should also draw paralells, see analogies, and comment in relation to other materials: other works read, movies, readings and ideas from other courses, etc. Especially in your conclusion. Such extra materials—and reflection on, around, and about them—add into the extra elements that will distinguish an “A” paper from a “B”-range one.
(75% of exam mark)