Choose ONE of the following questions and write an analytic essay, making sure that you develop a clear thesis and use details and quotations from the text to support your arguments. Make sure your quotations are apt and pertinent. Do not waste a lot of space on a long, generalized introduction, but get straight to your point and then concentrate on staying on track, providing clear transitions and avoiding vagueness.
1. Write an essay that compares and contrasts the first scene and the final scene of King Lear. You may wish to pay particular attention to stage action (how bodies are positioned and move on stage), to thematic parallels, to similarities and/or differences in language and images. Develop an argument that explains why it is important to think about these two scenes together when studying King Lear.
2. Provide a close reading of one of the following characters: King Lear, Gloucester, Cordelia, Edgar, Edmund, or Kent. Your essay should engage with important speeches and/or significant stage action related to the character you choose, and should develop an argument that positions him or her within the play as a whole. For example, you might choose to explore how King Lear’s character connects to themes of power and powerlessness in the play; or, you might connect Gloucester to the play’s interest in sight and blindness.
3. “I, like the arch fiend, bore a hell within me; and, finding myself unsympathized with, wished
to tear up the trees, spread havoc and destruction around me, and then to have sat down and
enjoyed the ruin” (149).
Write an essay that explains why, or why not, the violent behaviour of the creature in Frankenstein is
4. Compare and contrast the characters of Victor and his creature. How are they similar and how are they different—and, most importantly, why are these similarities and differences important for understanding the novel? You may wish to consider their pursuit of knowledge, their relationships with family, their desire for love and community.
-Avoid plot-summary, editorials, and generalities. Base your argument on detailed analysis of specific passages.
-Move as quickly as possible to your specific claims and arguments.
-Don’t just make observations. Make arguments that are supported by observations.
-You do not need a title page.
– ½ inch (1.25 cm) top margin; 1-inch (2.5 cm) bottom and side margins; double space throughout, 12 point font.
-Paragraphs should be indented ½ inch (1.25 cm)
REMEMBER the 3 major elements I’m considering in evaluating your paper:
1) Analysis: How well do you understand the content and/or structure of the text? Demonstrate that you’ve thought about the text, that you have an understanding of how the important pieces of the text are put together.
2) Structure: How effectively do you put your essay together? Does your essay have a clear and consistent focus?
3) Grammar: Sentence structure, spelling, punctuation.
REMEMBER the 3 essential things that an essay must have:
1) Thesis: A central, unifying argument. Your thesis must be consistent, and it cannot be self-evident (or obvious).
2) Organization: Putting your ideas together in a logical way.
3) Evidence: Where are you getting your ideas and arguments from? Do you provide textual evidence to support your claims?