Final Essay Midsummer Night's Dream

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© Kintz 2014
Final Essay
Midsummer Night’s Dream
Choose one of the following elements that you’d like to analyze more closely:
 an important dichotomy
 a particular motif
 a symbol
 You may use just one scene, multiple scenes, or different quotes from the entire play!
 Your essay should answer the following questions about the element that you choose:
 What is the meaning or significance of the chosen dichotomy, motif, or symbol?
 How do you know? (you MUST use quotes from the play to support your analysis) [outside research
of your element is optional, must provide appropriate citations for your sources]
 Draw a conclusion about the message that Shakespeare is intending to communicate to his audience,
by using your chosen literary device, and how it relates to the general theme(s) of the play.
Guidelines
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Should be about 2 pages (typed, Times New Roman, 12 point font, double-spaced)
No personal pronouns (ie. I believe…I think…In my opinion, etc.)
You must use quotes from the play to support your analysis
You must cite the play appropriately (see guidelines on back)
You may refer to the historical context of the play (if you’d like)
You may do outside research to support your analysis (you will need to cite your sources)
Outline
Introductory Paragraph (introduces the play and your chosen literary element)
 Hook
 General overview of the play
o
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EXAMPLE: A Midsummer Night’s Dream by, William Shakespeare, is a tale of…
THESIS STATEMENT: introduce the dichotomy, motif, or symbol that you’ll be evaluating and how it
relates to the theme
o
EXAMPLE: The use of the __________________ motif is significant, because it helps to develop the
theme of _________________ in the play.
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Transition into deeper analysis
Body Paragraph (deeper analysis) [one or two paragraphs]
 What is the meaning or significance of the chosen dichotomy, motif, or symbol?
 How do you know? (you MUST use quotes from the play to support your analysis) [outside research
of your element is optional, must provide appropriate citations for your sources]
 Draw a conclusion about the message that Shakespeare is intending to communicate to his audience,
by using your chosen literary device, and how it relates to the general theme(s) of the play.
Final Paragraph (explains why it matters) [one paragraph]
 How is the overall meaning/intended message of the play affected by the use of this element?
 Would the message have been communicated as effectively without this element? Why?
 What’s so brilliant about the use of this element? Why?
© Kintz 2014
 Italicize the titles of plays.
How to Cite a Play
A Midsummer Night’s Dream or Othello.
 Place a parenthetical citation after each quotation containing its act, scene,
and line numbers separated by periods. Do not use page numbers.
 Cite line-number ranges under 100 like this: 34–37.
 Above 100, repeat only the last two digits of the second number: 211–12). Place a
dash [–] between the range numbers.
 Separate the lines with a slash [/]
In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Puck says, “I go, I go; look how I go,
/ Swifter than an arrow from the Tartar’s bow” (3.2.100-01).
 If you are quoting more than 3 lines, it should be set as block quotations:
 start a new line and set each line one inch in from the left margin, adding no
quotation marks not appearing in the original.
 The block quotation should be SINGLE SPACED
Jaques begins his famous speech by comparing the world to a theater:
All the world’s a stage
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. (2.7.138–42)
 You may refer to a scene in the text with the act and scene numbers—in
numbers—separated by a period.
In 3.1, Hamlet delivers his most famous soliloquy.
Do not say: “In Act III, scene i, Hamlet delivers his most famous soliloquy.”