Macbeth Cause and Effect Essay



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Macbeth Cause and Effect Essay

10 points (thesis commitment, on-time)

20 points (outline or graphic organizer, on-time)

100 points (final essay itself)


Write a cause and effect essay meeting the following requirements.


  • Multiple paragraphs (full introduction and conclusion)

  • Topic sentence, underlined, at start of each body paragraph

  • Third person (no first or second unless in direct quotation

  • MLA format (12 pt Times New Roman, pagination, double space, one-inch margins, 4-line MLA heading, centered title)

  • Include author and title in introduction and/or thesis statement.

  • Thesis statement, underlined.

  • Multiple references to Macbeth (citations AND separate Works Cited page required. Remember to cite drama by Act, Scene, and Line(s). You may use Roman numerals I.V.11 OR Arabic numbers 1.5.11, but be consistent. In this case, both citations refer to Act I, Scene V, Line 11)

  • Use present tense to discuss literature.

  • No contractions, symbols, or abbreviations

  • Identify at least one cause and at least one effect (1C-1E). Most of you will choose to identify 1C-3E or 1E-3C.

Below are 5 possible structures of cause-effect thesis statements. The 9 thesis statements are simply examples as to what such a thesis would actually look like and sound like for the play Macbeth. You may choose to use or modify any of the thesis statements below, OR you may formulate an original thesis statement:


These first 2 structures are broader in scope. Note that they do not specifically identify the essay’s 3 main points. The 3 main points would likely be 3 different proofs.

{Effect} happens as a result of {Cause}:

  1. {Lady Macbeth succumbs to insanity} because {she cannot escape her guilt}.

  2. {Macbeth’s character darkens} due to {disturbances in nature}.

{Cause} brings about {Effect}:

    1. Because {Macbeth rules as a heartless tyrant}, {Scotland suffers}.

    2. {The death of King Duncan represents a disturbance in the natural order;} therefore, {nature goes awry}.

The following 3 structures clearly identify the essay’s main points.



{Effect} verb {Cause A, Cause B, and Cause C}:

    1. {Macbeth’s miserable reign} stems from his {guilt, inadequacy, and tyranny}.

{Cause} verb {Effect A, Effect B, and Effect C}:

    1. {Macbeth’s aspirations} instigate {murder, paranoia, and civil war}.

{Cause}, {Cause}, {Cause} verb {Effect}:

    1. {Macbeth’s ambitions, Lady Macbeth’s encouragement, and the witches’ prophecies} hasten {Macbeth’s ascension to the throne of Scotland}.

    2. {The witches’ curse, unusual occurrences, and guilt} destroy {sleep patterns in Macbeth}.

    3. {The presence of supernatural elements, natural disruption, and bloody deaths} create {an atmosphere of horror in Macbeth}.


Other topics like hypocrisy, paranoia, blood, water, male, female, light and dark, might also be the basis for an excellent cause-and-effect essay. If you have an original idea you would like to pursue, formulate a thesis and turn it in.
This is take-home essay and will be graded meticulously; make sure to allow for solid ideas and references to the play, proper MLA formatting, and correct and accurate grammar, punctuation, usage, and spelling.

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