You are asked to submit six of these weekly writings over the course of the semester – if you choose to respond to this text, your response should be at least 200 words to receive credit. You should feel free to respond to any one of the prompts below, or if there is some other aspect of the text we are discussing that you would like to comment on, you may do that as well.
Some possible prompts for The Moors, 2nd half:
1. If the first half didn’t already, this second half of the play very explicitly begins to bring in discussions of queerness and female relationships. What does it shift about the themes this story borrows from Jane Eyre and other Bronte novels to look at their power dynamics through the lens of queerness?
2. Talk about the role of the moors (the wilderness) and the way they are characterized in this play – what does their importance seem to be?
3. Talk about the progression of the relationship between the dog and the moor-hen – it’s a very modern-seeming relationship. How does it comment on the other relationships in the play or the relationships in other gothic texts? How does time play a role in this relationship?
4. What do you make of the bargain Agatha and Emilie strike? From the live burial, to the torture/rape/murder of Branwell, to the contractual nature of the union, to the questions it raises about gender/lineage/power, there’s a lot to think about in that bargain. Comment on some aspect of it.
5. Talk about the end of the play – the people who are left are the servants and the dog. Huldey has been devoured by the moors, Agatha has been murdered, and the moor-hen has been eaten. In the end, we get a debate between Emilie and Margaret about how best to record the story, and they do it in a very familiar way. What do you make of any of this?
6. This is the first gothic text we’ve read that is also explicitly a comedy. Talk about the interaction of comedy and horror in this play.
7. Comment on some other way you see this play twisting ideas presented in Jane Eyre.
8. Comment on some other way you see contemporary problems/questions being mapped onto this Bronte-setting.
9. Comment on some other way you see ideas about gender being manipulated and experimented with in this play.