Name: Class: Date: Macbeth: Essay Topics



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Name:

Class:

Date:

Macbeth: Essay Topics
Choose one of the following essay topics and identify your choice on this page.


  • Lady Macbeth is sometimes regarded as a monster, ruthlessly ambitious, and fiendishly cruel. Is she? What clues can you find in the play suggesting that Shakespeare did not want us to judge her so severely? Analyze her character as it is revealed through her words, actions, and her relationship with Macbeth.




  • Discuss if Macbeth is, or is not, a tragic hero according to Aristotle’s definition.




  • Is Macbeth an optimistic play?




  • Who or what is responsible for Macbeth's downfall? (Remember here, the more you narrow your answer, the better your essay will be…)




  • Discuss the nature of manhood as presented in Macbeth.




  • How is the mood of evil developed in Macbeth?



Respond in a carefully structured essay. Remember to formulate a thesis statement, organize your ideas into paragraphs, and support your statements with details from the play.

  • You must use at least THREE direct quotations from the play of NO LONGER than three lines per quotation. After the quotation, be sure to show the act, scene and line number where you found it. For example, (5.2.14-17) shows an appropriate format to cite your quotation.

Please:


  • write your name, the date, and your class in the top right hand corner of your essay.

  • title your essay.

  • write in blue or black ink, or type.

  • double space and write on only one side of the page.

  • if you are writing on the computer, put your name and period in a footer on each page.

  • Remember to write in present tense!

  • AVOID giving me a plot summary!






5

4

3

2

1

Thought and Understanding

You have a strong thesis that addresses the question in an insightful manner. Your ideas effectively relate to the assignment in a way that shows a thorough literary interpretation of the text.

You have a good thesis that addresses the question in a thoughtful manner. Your ideas clearly relate to the assignment in a way that shows a good literary interpretation of the text.

You have a clear thesis that addresses the topic in a straightforward manner. Your ideas are on topic, but are vague at times, showing a straightforward literary interpretation of the text

You have the beginning of a thesis. Your ideas sometimes are on topic, but sometimes wander, revealing a vague or unclear literary interpretation of the text

Your ideas are largely irrelevant and/or do not develop the topic.

Supporting Evidence

Your support is explicit, precise, and reveals good insight about the topic. Support is integrated in a sophisticated manner.

Your support is thoughtful, strong, and accurate, revealing a good understanding of the topic. Support is integrated in a fluid manner.

Your support is adequate, but sometimes general. Support is integrated in a straightforward manner.

Your support is either inadequate, or sometimes irrelevant. At times it may lapse into plot summary. Support not integrated into the writing in a way that shows a clear or effective connection.

Your support is inappropriate, repetitive, vague and/or lacking. A great deal of your support may be plot summary.

Form and Structure

Your writing presents a compelling introduction, successfully constructed to provoke further reading. The ideas are crafted to flow smoothly to an effective conclusion. Transitions between sentences and paragraphs are polished, effective and your thesis is skillfully maintained

Your writing presents a good introduction that creates some degree of interest in the reader. The ideas are crafted to conclude in a thoughtful manner. Transitions between sentences and paragraphs have been given attention and are fluid, and your thesis is clearly maintained

Your writing presents a focused and functional introduction, middle and conclusion. Ideas are clearly related, but coherence between ideas may occasionally falter. Reader is given clear direction and your thesis is mechanically maintained.

Your writing is missing either a functional introduction or conclusion. Some problem areas transitioning between ideas. Reader is given little direction and you have the beginning of a thesis that is not always maintained.

Your writing presents neither an introduction nor a conclusion. Ideas are presented in no particular order. Reader is given no direction.

Matters of Choice

Your selection of and use of words and sentence structures are effective and varied. Strong, vivid words capture the reader and paint clear pictures in the reader’s imagination. The writing is skillful and effective.

Your selection of and use of words and sentence structures are clear, and planned. Some strong, vivid words capture the reader and sometimes paint clear pictures in the reader’s imagination. The writing is controlled, and fluent.

Your writing and use of words and sentence structures is generally clear, but has a few awkward moments. A few strong, vivid word choices, but the majority are straightforward and accurate. Writing is basic, with glimpses of controlling the language for effect.

Your writing and use of words and sentence structures has many awkward moments. The majority of your words are straightforward and accurate, but many are also weak or vague. Writing is beginning to show control but is not there yet.

Your selection and use of words and sentence structures is frequently inaccurate, ineffective, or unclear. No evidence of controlling word choice and often words are inappropriate.

Matters of Correctness

Your writing is essentially free from errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar. The effective use of conventions enhances the communicative power of the writing.

Your have a few minor errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar. These errors do not reduce the communicative power of the writing.

Your writing has some minor errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar. These errors reduce, but do not impede the communicative power of the writing.

Your writing has errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar. These errors reduce, as well as sometimes impede the communicative power of the writing.

Your writing has numerous errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar that are both noticeable and jarring. These errors severely impede the communicative power of the composition.

Insufficient

INSF- not enough has been written to assess the writing on the criteria

INSF- not enough has been written to assess the writing on the criteria

INSF- not enough has been written to assess the writing on the criteria

INSF- not enough has been written to assess the writing on the criteria

INSF- not enough has been written to assess the writing on the criteria

Introduction


  • Introduce your topic by; telling an interesting anecdote, using a quotation, making general comments about the theme or topic in relation to life, mankind, or the world.

  • Complete this in a few sentences… then, create a thesis statement that will appear near the end of this paragraph.

  • This paragraph often goes from general to specific in pattern, like a pyramid, or the top of an hourglass.

  • A thesis will narrow your topic, say something about it that you are defending in your paper, and should include the text, and the author.

Body Paragraph #1/2/3




  • Introductory sentence: here you must make a statement that supports how the evidence you are about to introduce will relate to your thesis.

  • The rest of the paragraph develops this idea with SUPPORT and EXPLAINATION of the support. The job of each of these paragraphs is to defend/prove your thesis.

  • Follow this pattern:

    • Statement

    • Evidence (do not give plot summary! Choose evidence that relates!)

    • Quotation

    • Explanation

    • Summarize

  • Be sure to conclude your paragraph with a concluding sentence that wraps up the idea in this paragraph and may also transition to the next one.

*** DO NOT MAKE “If… then … would have happened” STATEMENTS IN YOUR ESSAY. This is not support! You don’t KNOW what “would have happened”. The events of the play are “as written” not with guesses of changes in behaviour, so you can NOT use those as support.


Conclusion



  • This paragraph “sums up” your essay. It may restate main points, make it general to mankind or life again, or tie back into your initial quotation or anecdote.

  • Often this paragraph begins more specifically with a restatement of your thesis, and then brings your ideas back to a general comment on how that reflects on life.

  • The “shape” of your ideas is often like an inverted pyramid, or the bottom of the hourglass.

  • DO NOT introduce “new” ideas or evidence from the text in this paragraph.


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