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Critical Analysis Essay

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by

John Fitzgerald

on 14 August 2015

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Transcript of Critical Analysis Essay

Who would have thought a man like William Shakespeare, who didn't allow women to act in his plays, was a feminist? In Shakespeare's first play for King James, he looks at many issues facing British society including the philosophical debate of fate versus free will, the drive of ambition, and gender roles. In this essay we will see how Shakespeare attempts to show the absurdity of assigning gender stereotypes by reversing them throughout the play Macbeth through the characters of Lady Macbeth, Macbeth and Macduff.
Introduction Paragraph
TSEXT
TSEXT stands for:

Topic Sentence (1 sentence)

Statement/Set Up (1-2 sentences)

Example/Quote/Statistic (as long as it needs
to be, but avoid large chunks of text from others when you are the main author)

eXplanation (1-4 sentences, generally twice
as long as your quote from an outside source)

Transition/Concluding sentence (1-2
sentences)
Conclusion Paragraph
Thus we can see how Shakespeare has challenged stereotypical gender roles showing the absurdity of the idea men must feel and act one way while women the opposite, when it is much more to the truth all men and women have equal claim to emotions and actions. This was made clear through the absurdity of Lady Macbeth calling on satanic spirits for manly emotions. We also saw the great warrior Macbeth full of self doubt and "womanly" worry. Finally the gender roles swapping extended beyond a man and wife squabble when Macduff declared he must feel his sorrow like a man before he could act like a man. Thus we see Shakespeare clearly telling us both sexes have a claim on all emotions. Four hundred years after this social commentary, humanity has come far in gender equality, but still with room to grow.
TSEXT Body Paragraph
Lady Macbeth is an obvious first candidate to look at in a discussion on gender roles. In a time and place where women are not even given a name, but referred to merely as an extension of their husband's name, feminine gender roles are explicit from the start. However, we see Lady Macbeth call for a reprieve from her gender when she exclaims, "Unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty." (Act I sc 5 ln 39-42). Lady Macbeth is rejecting her feminine role of the care giver and sweet home maker to be full of the dire cruelty associated with the other male sex. We see Shakespeare calling us the viewers out to ask if only men are capable of cruelty, to which we know the answer to be untrue. Of course what is good for the goose is good for the gander and we will see how Macbeth also refutes his male gender stereotype.
5 Paragraph Model
Critical Analysis Essay
Hook

Background
Information

Thesis:
Argument

Laundry List
Draw your reader in with a famous quote, perplexing question, or bold audacious statement
Include the author and title of work(s) used
Give any historical context needed
Tell your reader how you have come to this topic and why it matters
No more than three or four sentences
A thesis argument is a research question you have changed into a statement, which can be argued against.

Research Question:
How does Shakespeare feel about the stereotypical cultural roles of men and women in Elizabethan England?

Weak Thesis:
"Shakespeare has many examples of the switching of gender roles in the play
Macbeth
."

With this thesis you can only point out the incidents of gender roles swapping. You can not really argue against the fact that these swaps occur, there is nothing really to argue.

It is a Duhh... Thesis. Enjoy your C minus
Strong Thesis:
"Shakespeare attempts to show the absurdity of assigning gender stereotypes by reversing them throughout the play
Macbeth
."

This can be argued against and you can attempt to prove this statement by using quotes and examples from the text.

Starting from here you are pretty much guaranteed something in the range of B.
The Laundry List is a quick reference to the quotes, characters, examples, or incidents you plan to use to defend your thesis.
There must be a corresponding body paragraph for each element of your laundry list. A 5 Paragraph Essay will have three items in your laundry list. Your twenty page masters thesis at university will have a few more...
A
topic sentence
tells us what you are going to talk about and can also include your argument.
The
statement
or s
et up
is a place to include your opinion/argument if you did not do so in the Topic Sentence. Otherwise it can set up or introduce the quote by placing it in context of the work or research material.
Follow the Statement or Set Up with your
example, quote,
or
statistic
. You may have multiples of these to choose from but a strong paragraph will focus on one or two of these. If the paragraph becomes too long your reader can begin to lose interest or you may begin to lose focus on your argument to support your thesis.
Your
explanation
needs to tell us how your example, quote, or statistic supports your argument for your thesis. A general rule is to have twice as much explanation as there is quoted material. Weaker writers look for huge quotes to pad their paper with, while strong writers fill their paper with analysis of the quote as it relates to their thesis.
The
transition
or
concluding sentence
will recap the main point and wind up your explanation and then lead the reader into the next thought or idea from your laundry list.
Restate your thesis but don't simply copy and paste it from your introduction.
Recap each of your main points/topic sentences from your body paragraphs.
NO NEW INFORMATION!
You may have come across a great new quote or piece of information after you have completed everything else, so either create a new paragraph and add the idea to your laundry list, or else leave it alone. The time to develop the thesis with argumentation and examples is in the body of the essay not the conclusion.
The Call to Action is where you tell us what we have learned which has made a difference to the world at large and humanity in general or where you call for some change to be made in the world or in society. Follow this model and enjoy your A.


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