A rap battle, my part is talking in Shakespeare’s language dissing John Donne
The purpose of this exercise is threefold: to demonstrate your understanding of what your chosen authors stood for and how they differed from one another on the issues of their day; to experience the tension between license (content) and restraint (form) that the genre generates, in keeping with the themes of the course; and to have some well-deserved fun at the end of a difficult term.
The rap battle is not a new genre. Both the formal boast and the exchange of insults in verse known as “flyting” have been practiced by public figures for more than eight hundred years in the English literary tradition. Like flyting, the rap battle is known for its word play, verbal abuses, catchy rhymes and steady beats. When preparing one, you will discover that it is easier to find the right rhymes if you are free to say whatever you want. However, I am requiring that you exercise some restraint in what you say. In other words, you are free to use language that insults your chosen authors; you are not free to use language that might offend your classmates.
In addition to the links posted on Moodle, I have included below a sample rap battle that meets the criteria for this assignment. Your rap battle does not have to be as good, although it is likely to be much better. Nor does your rap battle have to maintain the metrical regularity of iambic pentameter; it has only to contain four major stresses per line that would correspond to the beat of the music, as demonstrated in the second example below.
For the purposes of this assignment, your rap battle should
be at least one page
include 2-3 authors from the course syllabus
address specific aspects of your chosen authors’ life and work
include footnotes explaining references that might not be readily recognized land as many insults as you can in rhyming lines of four beats
If you author. The division of the dialogue can be equally simple: you can begin with a personal boast from the first speaker, followed by an attack on the other, and conclude with the second speaker’s response, followed by his or her own personal boast. However, there is no right way to go about it, given the endlebcqss variety to the form.
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