Figure 10: Essay Excerpt on The Theme of Exchange in Pericles

Below is an excerpt that falls under the comment “I Don’t Understand What You Are Trying to Say Here.”

You may access the comment by clicking on the “I” category or by typing the title into the search box.

You may print the excerpt for class discussions.

Sample Excerpt

Throughout the play lies the practice of reciprocity.  Many characters desire to go beyond their own personal need for something better regardless of the cost.  In many situations, there is an exchange of ideas, roles, and positions.  But there is one particular point the play desires to make with these different exchanges, that regardless of the gift in return, no exchange is worth the price paid.  And the price paid in the instance of the play is prostitution.  The Oxford English Dictionary defines “prostitution” in many ways.  It is defined as the “offer of oneself unlawfully, usually for hire, to devote or expose to lewdness.”  Such devotion requires moving the word from a noun to a verb, hence, to prostitute.  So, now the word evokes action and implies the lace of control on the one subjected.  Whoever is being prostituted is subjected to lewdness, shame, and disgrace in many ways.  And the term prostitute translates as incest in the first scene.

Figure 10: Essay Excerpt on The Theme of Exchange in Pericles


1) How are you defining “reciprocity?” Is this the definition? Are you defining reciprocity in terms of the word “exchange?”

2) Can a play desire?

3) Is “prostitution” a form of exchange, a form of reciprocity? Does the play provide an example of prostitution?

4) What scene, character, or underlying tone will you use to prove that the play “prostitution” is an exchange that is not worth the price paid?

Revision Consideration

A preliminary revision solution for this paper would be to use the terms the author uses and define those terms within the context of the literary work.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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