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The essay is on the Shakespeare play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. The book used in class was the oxford version. Below is the outline that was handed out in class. There are 5 essay topics listed, but you must choose ONLY ONE.
The following is what my teacher requires of me...
** All secondary sources should be cited appropriately.
**The essay must be 1000 words.
- should be an analytical argument, not a personal opinion.
- should not merely summarize or describe the content of the text; rather; it should advance an original argument.
- should avoid generalizations about society, history, truth, or some other abstraction.
- should use words whose meanings are clear and precise.
- should state a single, strong assertion about the text.
- should be substantiated with textual evidence.
You will be evaluated on the originality and plausibility of your thesis, the organization of your argument, your use of textual evidence, the grace and clarity of your expression, the grammar of your sentences, and your fulfillment of the criteria regarding the format of the paper.
Topics (choose ONE ONLY)
1. On one hand, the fairies
in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream are small, delicate creatures who fit in acorns. On the other hand, they are more substantial creatures who meddle rather significantly in the domestic lives of mortals. With attention to figurative language, characterization, and metrical patterns, develop a thesis about the complex role of faeries in Shakespeare’s play.
2. Notice how the green world of A Midsummer Night’s Dream’s forest both contrasts and mirrors the world of Theseus’ court. How do these two worlds function in the play? In what sense does the lovers’ time in the forest signal a restoration of order in the court? Develop and original argument about the relationship between the green and courtly worlds of the play.
3. How does irony function in A Midsummer Night’s Dream? Identify, analyze, and develop a thesis about the different kinds of irony in the play. Our lessons on irony should help you develop an original thesis about Shakespeare’s use of irony, but you might want to refer to a literary handbook for clarification. In your thesis about Midsummer’s use of irony, you could include a discussion of metaphor, malapropisms, and other relevant literary terms.
4. While Theseus claims to be a rational creature who doesn’t believe in fairies
, he is himself a central figure in the fairy
story that is the play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. With this irony in mind, consider the play’s attitude towards rationality, fantasy, and the imagination. Paying close attention to the form, content and context of Theseus’ speech at the beginning of Act 5 (5.1.2-22), develop a thesis about the role of the imagination in Shakespeare’s play.
5. The plotlines of Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream are complex. What is the meaning of this complexity? Consider the groups of characters that you find in each plotline: they are quite different in their social status, ways of speaking, and levels of fictionality, but in some ways perhaps they are alike. Compare the different forms of language that you find in each plotline. With the aim of relating Shakespeare’s language to his action, develop a thesis about the web of plots in the play.
Please include a works cited page. Thank you!
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