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Macbeth - Essay Writing Tips
Transcript of Macbeth - Essay Writing Tips
You must use the present tense when discussing literature. For example "Macbeth decides to revisit the Witches." NOT "When Macbeth decided to revisit the Witches. Use full phrases, do not use abbreviations such as "etc." , "e.g." and "i.e."
Use full words, do not use contractions, for example DO use "Macbeth does not feel mortal." and DO NOT use "Macbeth doesn't feel mortal." Avoid beginning sentences with demonstrative pronouns: “This,” “that,” “these,” and “those” should be used more often as adjectives than subjects to avoid making vague statements (This what?) and reference errors.
Choose active verbs: avoid passive verbs (e.g. “Courage was shown by Macduff" instead use “Macduff shows courage.” Slang and Colloquial Language: Use formal and literal language rather than depending upon idioms and conversational language. For example, do not write “Macduff chops Macbeth's head off” do write “Macduff decapitates Macbeth”. False Intensifiers: Do not use words like “very,” “extremely,” and “good.” Instead, use more colorful verbs accurately to express your thoughts. Use precise language.
Filler phrases: Do not restate your point in other words to take up space. Writing becomes redundant and boring that way It should provide a FOCUS for your essay, meaning it should narrow your field of discussion from a broad topic to a specific line of reasoning/argumentation within that topic area. DO NOT write "Shakespeare's Macbeth is the most Tragic hero of all Shakespeare's plays.
DO write "Macbeth displays some characteristics of a Tragic hero. Whilst not being an archetypal Tragic hero, Macbeth is of high status yet his fatal flaw, ambition, causes his eventual downfall." It should offer an ARGUMENT/ANALYSIS which the essay will support and develop. It should guide the rest of the essay Body Paragraphs When you begin a new idea or point. New ideas should always start in new paragraphs. If you have an extended idea that spans multiple paragraphs, each new point within that idea should have its own paragraph. BODY: the support paragraphs of your essay. These paragraphs contain supporting examples (concrete detail) and analysis/explanation (commentary) for your topic sentences. TOPIC SENTENCE: the first sentence of a body paragraph. It identifies one aspect of the major thesis and states a primary reason why the major thesis is true. Each paragraph in the body includes (1) a topic sentence/support thesis, (2) integrated concrete details/examples, (3) commentary/explanation for details/examples, and (4) a concluding sentence. Conclusion Echo your major thesis without repeating words verbatim. Reflect on how your topic relates to the book as a whole, give your opinion of the text's significance, or connect back to your opening. Similarity - also, in the same way, just as ... so too, likewise, similarly Exception/Contrast - but, however, in spite of, on the one hand ... on the other hand, nevertheless, nonetheless, notwithstanding, in contrast, on the contrary, still, yet Example - for example, for instance, namely, specifically, to illustrate Cause and Effect - accordingly, consequently, hence, so, therefore, thus Additional Support or Evidence - additionally, again, also, and, as well, besides, equally important, further, furthermore, in addition, moreover, then Conclusion/Summary - finally, in a word, in brief, briefly, in conclusion, in the end, in the final analysis, on the whole, thus, to conclude, to summarize, in sum, to sum up, in summary fate and free will - who is to blame for the tragedy? appearances and reality - deceit and hypocrisy mean that appearances cannot be trusted. ambition - seeking power the supernatural and the unknown - is it evil and otherworldly factors that inspire Macbeth's actions in the play? evil - is it a part of human nature? violence and tyranny guilt and conscience man and woman tormented
remorseful alliteration The repetition of initial consonant sounds in words. For example, rough and ready. allusion A reference in literature, or in visual or performing arts, to a familiar person, place, thing, or event. Allusions to biblical figures and figures from classical mythology are common in Western literature. archetype An image, a descriptive detail, a plot pattern, or a character type that occurs frequently in literature, myth, religion, or folklore and is, therefore, believed to evoke profound emotions. aside A dramatic device in which a character speaks his or her thoughts aloud, in words meant to be heard by the audience but not by the other characters. connotation The attitudes and feelings associated with a word. These associations can be negative or positive, and have an important influence on style and meaning. consonance The repetition of consonant sounds within and at the ends of words. For example, lonely afternoon. Often used with assonance, alliteration, and rhyme to create a musical quality, to emphasize certain words, or to unify a poem. assonance The repetition of vowel sounds without the repetition of consonants. For example, lake and fake diction An author’s choice of words based on their correctness, clearness, or effectiveness. extended metaphor A comparison between unlike things that serves as a unifying element throughout a series of sentences or a whole piece. An extended metaphor helps to describe a scene, an event, a character, or a feeling. metaphor A figure of speech that makes a comparison between two things that are basically different but have something in common. Unlike a simile, a metaphor does not contain the words like or as. For example, in the evening of life. paradox A statement that seems to contradict itself, but, in fact, reveals some element of truth. A special kind of paradox is the oxymoron, which brings together two contradictory terms. For example, cruel kindness and brave fear. simile A comparison of two unlike things in which a word of comparison (often like or as) is used. For example, ‘She stood in front of the alter, shaking like a freshly caught trout. soliloquy A speech in a dramatic work in which a character speaks his or her thoughts aloud. Usually the character is on the stage alone, not speaking to other characters and perhaps not even consciously addressing the audience. (If there are other characters on the stage, they are ignored temporarily.) The purpose of a soliloquy is to reveal a character’s inner thoughts, feelings, and plans to the audience. simile A comparison of two unlike things in which a word of comparison (often like or as) is used. For example, ‘She stood in front of the alter, shaking like a freshly caught trout. If a prose quotation runs four lines or less, put it in quotation marks and incorporate it in the text:
The immensely obese Falstaff tells the Prince: “When I was about thy years, Hal, I was not an eagle’s talon in the waist; I could have crept into any alderman’s thumb ring” (2.4.325-27) in a self-deprecating manner. If a prose quotation runs to more than four lines, set it off from your text by beginning a new line, indenting one inch from the left margin, and type it double-spaced, without adding quotation marks. A colon generally introduces an indented quotation.
In Much Ado About Nothing, Benedick reflects on what he has overheard Don Pedro, Leonato, and Claudio say:
This can be no trick. The conference was sadly borne. They have the truth of this from Hero. They seem to pity the lady. It seems her affections have their full bent. Love me? Why, it must be requited. I hear how I am censured. They say I will bear myself proudly if I perceive the love come from her; they say too that she will rather die than give any sign of affection. (2.3.217-24)
and begins to start planning his next action. If you quote all or part of a single line of verse, put it in quotation marks within your text:
Macbeth reveals he has “Vaulting ambition” a characteristic that is, arguably his fatal flaw. You may also incorporate two or three lines in the same way, using a slash with a space on each side ( / ) to separate them:
Claudius alludes to the story of Cain and Abel when he describes his crime: “It hath the primal eldest curse upon’t, / A brother’s murder” If you quote dialogue between two or more characters in a play, set the quotation off from your text. Begin each part of the dialogue with the appropriate character’s name indented one inch from the left margin and written in all capital letters. Follow the name with a period, and start the quotation. Indent all subsequent lines in the character’s speech an additional quarter inch. When the dialogue shifts to another character, start a new line indented one inch from the left margin. Maintain this pattern throughout the entire quotation.
A short time later, Lear’s daughters try to dismiss all of their father’s servants:
GONERIL. Hear me, my lord.
What need you five-and-twenty, ten, or five
To follow in a house where twice so many
Have command to tend you?
REGAN. What need one?
LEAR. O, reason not the need! (2.4.254-58)