Literature represents much of the very best of humanity's writings, and it is not by any accident that, after bestsellers and sensationalized books have faded from memory, literature continues to thrive and remain intensely relevant to contemporary human conditions. Literature's stories and texts survive the fires of time. This is why for decades and centuries - long after their authors have gone silent - the writings of Dante, Shakespeare, and Austen, among so many other vital voices, will continue to captivate readers and comment upon life.
Develop and organize arguments 5. Write the introduction 6. Write the body paragraphs 7. Write the conclusion 1. Now all you have to do is choose one. Do yourself a favor and pick a topic that interests you.
If you are asked to come up with a topic by yourself, though, you might start to feel a little panicked.
Maybe you have too many ideas—or none at all. Take a deep breath and start by asking yourself these questions: Did a particular image, line, or scene linger in your mind for a long time? If it fascinated you, chances are you can draw on it to write a fascinating essay.
Confusing moments in a work of literature are like a loose thread in a sweater: Ask yourself why the author chose to write about that character or scene the way he or she did and you might tap into some important insights about the work as a whole.
Did you notice any patterns? Is there a phrase that the main character uses constantly or an image that repeats throughout the book? Did you notice any contradictions or ironies?
Great works of literature are complex; great literary essays recognize and explain those complexities. Maybe the main character acts one way around his family and a completely different way around his friends and associates.
The best questions invite critical debates and discussions, not just a rehashing of the summary. Finally, remember to keep the scope of your question in mind: Conversely, is this a topic big enough to fill the required length?
Frankenstein and his monster alike? Keep track of passages, symbols, images, or scenes that deal with your topic. These are the elements that you will analyze in your essay, and which you will offer as evidence to support your arguments.
For more on the parts of literary works, see the Glossary of Literary Terms at the end of this section. Elements of Story These are the whats of the work—what happens, where it happens, and to whom it happens. All of the events and actions of the work. The people who act and are acted upon in a literary work.
The main character of a work is known as the protagonist. The central tension in the work. When and where the work takes place. Elements of setting include location, time period, time of day, weather, social atmosphere, and economic conditions.
The person telling the story. The narrator may straightforwardly report what happens, convey the subjective opinions and perceptions of one or more characters, or provide commentary and opinion in his or her own voice.
The main ideas or messages of the work—usually abstract ideas about people, society, or life in general. A work may have many themes, which may be in tension with one another.
Elements of Style These are the hows—how the characters speak, how the story is constructed, and how language is used throughout the work. How the parts of the work are assembled.
Some novels are narrated in a linear, chronological fashion, while others skip around in time. Some plays follow a traditional three-or five-act structure, while others are a series of loosely connected scenes. Some authors deliberately leave gaps in their works, leaving readers to puzzle out the missing information.
The perspective from which a story is told. In first-person point of view, the narrator involves him or herself in the story.
In third-person point of view, the narrator does not participate in the story.Introduction Many books and articles have been written arguing that someone other than William Shakespeare, the glover's son from Stratford-upon-Avon, wrote .
Literary analysis involves examining all the parts of a novel, play, short story, or poem—elements such as character, setting, tone, and imagery—and thinking about how the author uses those elements to create certain effects.
William Shakespeare was the son of John Shakespeare, an alderman and a successful glover originally from Snitterfield, and Mary Arden, the daughter of an affluent landowning farmer. He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon and baptised there on 26 April An Analysis of the Characters in Hamlet Hamlet by William Shakespeare has been considered by many critics as one of the best plays in English literature.
It has also been considered as one of the best tragedies among the many Shakespeare wrote. Essays and criticism on William Shakespeare - Critical Essays. One of William Shakespeare’s great advantages as a writer was that, as a dramatist working in the public theater, he was afforded a.
William Shakespeare - Literary criticism: During his own lifetime and shortly afterward, Shakespeare enjoyed fame and considerable critical attention. The English writer Francis Meres, in , declared him to be England’s greatest writer in comedy and tragedy.