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Westminster Abbey

A narrative Essay by Joseph Addison.

Anthony Kuntz

on 7 October 2013

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Transcript of Westminster Abbey

By Joseph Addison

Westminster Abbey
By Joseph Addison
- Informal Narrative Essay

- Speculative Elements

- Offers Opinions

- Underlying ideas and theme

Short. Five Paragraphs.

Each paragraph expresses a different, solid idea.

First paragraph starts with exposition and back story.

Final paragraph broadens out in thought and speculates.
Literary Devices
Classical allusions



Published in "The Spectator" on March 30, 1711
Informal Narrative Essay
Informal - Speaker is open
and inviting.
Narrative - Speaker recalls a past
event in first person.

- Idea is key.
Speculative Elements
- Speculates what kind of grave is best.

- Reflects on reactions.

- Considers the future.
Offers Opinions
- Gives opinions on:
Solely displaying dates.

Greek and Hebrew epitaphs.

The monument of Sir Cloudesly Shovel.

The solidarity of man.
Underlying Ideas:
- Universality of death and brevity of life.
- Humans live on after death in how they are remembered.
- The dead should be appropriately commemorated.
- Death overcomes life's divisions.
Underlying Theme:
Social Attitudes


Cultural Dispositions
Expresses dislike for division and factions.

Expresses anti-religious sentiment.
Moral Beliefs
All men are eventually equal.

All men
stand equal.
Discussion Questions:
Question 3:
Do you agree with Addison's assessment of grave stones and epitaphs? What do you think the ideal grave should include? Consider his mention of birth and death dates, epitaphs in other languages, quotes about all mankind, and statues of the dead.
Question 4:
Did the essay turn out how you thought it would?

Did you enjoy the essay? Explain why or why not.

Question 1:
Do you feel as if death makes all men equal or do the things we remember about men and women highlight their differences? Could both be true? Explain your answer!
Question 2:
Do you think Addison looks upon death favorably, unfavorably, or neutrally? What clues draw you to this conclusion? Do you feel the same way about death? Explain your answer!
Bonus Facts:
Joseph Addison himself is buried in Westminster Abbey.

In the Poet's Corner is a statue of Addison depicting him in robes and surrounded by scrolls and books. Ironically, the statue bears a Latin inscription.

The statue of Sir Cloudlesly Shovel looks just as Addison described it.
Westminster Abbey
Made by: Anthony Kuntz
Thanks for listening
and participating!
Full transcript