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ELA IV Honors

The Literary Analysis Essay

 Overview

In accordance with the course theme: “there’s always another perspective”, we have critically read, analyzed and
discussed Shakespeare’s Macbeth as well as a later reinterpretation of the classic, The Tragedy of Lady Macbeth by

David Henry Wilson. In order to make a comparison of these two texts or any other versions of the original,
literary or cinematic, you must have a firm analysis of the original. To do so, express your perspective of
Shakespeare’s Macbeth, by composing a literary analysis essay.
 Directions

Compose a literary analysis essay in response to one of the following prompts:


 The supernatural plays an important role in Macbeth. To what extent does it motivate Macbeth's actions?

 Choose two of the minor characters in Macbeth and examine how they contribute to the play's action.

 Discuss the speech Macbeth gives upon hearing that his wife is dead in Act V, Scene V. How do his words

capture one of the major themes in the drama? (http://www.shakespeare-


online.com/topics/macbethtopics.htm ).

 Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most dynamic tragic heroes. Analyze his character. (You can think about the

significance of his experience, what he represents, examine his mental deterioration, etc.)

 Lady Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most powerful female characters. Analyze her character. (You can think
about the significance of her experience, what she represents, her influence on her husband, her attraction to

the supernatural, etc.)

 Create your own question of analysis. The prompt you create should be express your critical thinking of an
aspect(s) of the play. Be sure to present a clear argument that focuses on the selected literary piece.

 Requirements

 Thesis check- compose an initial thesis concerning the prompt you selected above. Be prepared to review

your thesis with me on October 30, 2018.

 Rough draft -You are required to produce a draft to be edited by one of your peers in the class. Your peer-
editor should make comments and assess you according to the same rubric that I will assess your final draft.

Your edited draft should be returned to the originator by November 5, 2018. I recommend that you type the

rough draft, because this will ensure that peer editors can read and respond to it.
 Final Copy

o Your final essay must be four pages in length, 11” font, and 1.5 spaced.
o You must cite the original play and provide two additional outside (secondary) sources. All of the

sources must correspond to the in-text citation used to support your argument.
o You are required to use a mix of quotes and paraphrases.
 4 paraphrases must be used
 4 direct quotes one of which can be a long quote
 Document all sources accurately on your citation page according to MLA format.

o Final submissions are due on November 12, 2018. Late submissions will be penalized.

 A Checklist
 Make sure your name, date, course and assignment are at the top left hand corner of your essay (final

version).

 Sam Student

 November 12, 2018


 ELA IV, Honors

 Literary Analysis
 Give your essay an appropriate title. Do not underline or put quotation marks around this title, but do

capitalize first letters of all important words: Ironies in an Hour. If you include the title of the fiction in your

title you do want to indicate that is a title by putting quotation marks around it: The Real Sabotage in
"Saboteur"

 Don’t say “I believe” or “I think” or “in my opinion” in your essay. Readers should be aware that literary

analysis deals with forming opinions that are then supported, so it is redundant to say these are your

opinions. (Note: This is my preference and not a hard and fast rule, so I will not grade you down if you choose

to say "I believe")

 The first time you mention it, formally introduce the author’s whole name and the story title. Put

quotation marks around titles of short stories, poems and lyrics, such as “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “I

Sell My Dreams” Underline (or italicize) longer works divided into parts or chapters, such as the novella
The Metamorphosis. Thereafter, refer to the author by his or her last name. Beginning: In Franz Kafka’s The

Metamorphosis… Later: Kafka reveals Gregor’s state of mind by….

 State your thesis early (a common place is the end of the introduction, but the introduction can take

more than one paragraph to form). Provide an introductory paragraph or more; body paragraphs wherein
you make claims and provide evidence (quotes, paraphrases, and facts), explanation and reasoning to support

the thesis; and a conclusion.

 Use the present tense to describe events in the story unless you must distinguish the past from the present.

 Do not ignore the ending of the novel, because that’s where the meaning really takes shape. An analysis of
what the ending finally does to the meaning of the story as a whole is essential even if you analyze it

only briefly.
 Organization: Avoid summarizing the story. You don't have to tell readers everything that happens in the

story and often the best evidence you have to support your claims will come late in the text, so do your best
to hunt evidence and organize around supporting your thesis with that evidence. Start body paragraphs with

claims such as "The main character's behavior shows that she is selfish" or signal phrases that remind us you
are about to introduce another piece of evidence. "More evidence that she is selfish can be found in the

scene where her husband tries to talk her into moving to a less expensive apartment." If your body
paragraphs begin with summary statements such as "First the couple wakes up in the middle of the night to

the sound of the faucet dripping" that's a sign you may be summarizing instead of organizing it as an essay,

where you make claims and then back them up with evidence. Look at opening sentences of your body
paragraphs to check if you are organizing properly and really writing an essay.

 Quoting and paraphrasing:

 cite all quotes and paraphrase correctly

 explain each quote and paraphrase


o What is it about?

o Why is it important?
o How does it relate to your thesis?