The goal of our third main essay was to incorporate outside work that was academic, not historical. Whereas in the historical contextualization we looked at how history affected The Tempest, in the critical conversation we would look at how an idea, such as those by Frank Kermode, were reflected or absent from the play. I would then respond with my own conversation in an effort to contribute to the overall conversation.
This was honestly my least favorite of the six essays to write, as not only did I struggle understanding the material we were presented on the critical conversation, I lacked confidence in the thesis and draft I composed. The question I used in this piece regarded Kermode’s discussion of art versus nature. I felt that The Tempest presented a more complicated conflict than what Kermode presented. However, my previously stated struggles caused me to have trouble drafting something. I ultimately chose to look at a number of instances in the play where I felt Kermode’s argument did not line up with what happened.
Following a similar process to the last two essays, I compiled my ideas into a first, very rough draft. My peer review went very well, however, and I was able to better focus my essay on Ariel and Antonio instead of random examples. I also expanded on my ideas regarding Kermode. Overall, I felt that this feedback was some of my more valued among all that I received this semester.
I then revised this rough draft into a submission draft. My professor promptly gave feedback, much of it regarding how I was interpreting and portraying Kermode’s work. I was encouraged to review and expand on what I said about Kermode, as I was on the right track, but missing a key point of his. This type of feedback would continue in some of my future essays and is emblematic of a process problem I hope to be better at.
I ultimately decided not to pursue this essay further, as I felt that it was ultimately a wash that was not worth my time compared to the other essays I could revise.