Shakespeare does not always make clear distinctions between villains and victims in his plays. Drawing on The Merchant of Venice, who do you feel is the plays greatest villain, and in what ways might she or he also be a victim?
Include specific examples and quotations from the play(s) to support your analysis. Try to explain how Shakespeare uses the aspect of the topic that you are focusing on to develop the main ideas in the play(s) as a whole.
I am including the tutor’s advice for successfully writing a shakespeare essay to pinpoint what they are looking for:
1. Make sure that you understand the essay topic and focus on that topic. If you have any questions about the demands of the topic, be sure to check with me.
2. Make sure that you understand all the key terms in the topic. Note that some terms, such as tragic hero have a specialized meaning in the context of literary analysis.
4. In your introduction avoid sweeping generalizations that you cannot support with the analysis of the texts included in your essay. Focus your introduction on the texts you are analyzing and end your introduction with a thesis that clearly states the main IDEA in your essay. Avoid vague generalizations such as the examples below:
Weak Thesis: These three film versions of Hamlet are very different. Animal imagery is important in Titus Andronicus. All of these sonnets deal with time.
A good thesis states an idea that you can develop, not just the subject of the essay.
Strong Thesis: Kenneth Branaghs interpretation of Hamlet is better than either Mel Gibsons or Lawrence Oliviers because Branagh more successfully portrays Hamlet as man of contradictions: kind and cruel, brave and cowardly, intellectually sophisticated and frighteningly irrational.
5. Begin each middle paragraph with a topic sentence that states the main idea in that paragraph and connects the material in it to your thesis. In academic writing, paragraphs should be about half a page long, so subdivide long paragraphs. Be sure to include quotations from the text you are analyzing to provide the evidence that proves your interpretation is correct.
6. In your conclusion, sum up your main points.
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