Critical Lens Essay: The Tragedy of Macbeth

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Name/Date: _____________________________________________________________ Critical Lens Unit

Task—choose one of the following lens quotes and write a critical lens essay using The Tragedy of Macbeth.

1. “The soul that has conceived one wickedness can nurse no good thereafter”—Sophocles, Philocetes

2. “Ambition destroys its possessor.”—Talmud

3. “Circumstances are beyond the control of man; but his conduct is in his own power.”—Benjamin Disraeli, Contarini Fleming, 1832

In your essay, provide a valid interpretation of the statement, agree or disagree with the statement as you have interpreted it, and support your opinion using specific references to appropriate literary elements from the two works.

Be sure to:

i. Provide a valid interpretation of the critical lens that clearly establishes the criteria for analysis ii. Indicate whether you agree or disagree with the statement as you have interpreted it iii. Choose evidence that you believe best support your opinion iv. Use the criteria suggested by the critical lens to analyze the works you have chosen v. Avoid Plot summary. Instead, use specific references to appropriate Literary elements (for example: theme, characterization, conflict, setting, point of view, etc.) to develop your analysis vi. Organize your ideas in a unified and coherent manner

vii. Specify the titles and authors of the literature you choose viii. Follow the conventions of standard written English

Notes:

Name/Date: _____________________________________________________________ Smith/Spear
Critical Lens Outline:

Step One: Introduction

Sample critical lens: “An author is often a politician—his characters are nothing more than colorful speeches.” – Unknown

Sample introduction:
According to an unknown author, “An author is often a politician—his characters are nothing more than colorful speeches.” This statement implies that authors use their characters to persuade their readers to agree with a specific message or theme. Two works in particular, Beowulf by an unknown writer and Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, can be analyzed in light of the lens quote. Taken together, they show that the quote is indeed correct.

1 According to an unknown author, “An author is often a politician—his characters are nothing more than colorful speeches.”

2 This statement implies that authors use their characters to persuade their readers to agree with a specific message or theme.

3 Two works in particular, Beowulf by an unknown writer and Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, can be analyzed in light of the lens quote.

4 Taken together, they show that the quote is indeed correct.

Or

The author of the Critical lens wrote, “An author is often a politician—his characters are nothing more than colorful speeches.” In other words, authors use their characters to persuade their readers to agree with a specific message or theme. I agree, in the anonymous Beowulf and William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the authors use characters to persuade us that their view of the world is correct.

Step One: Introduction

(1) Copy the Critical Lens Exactly from the test sheet (complete the sentence below)

The author of the Critical lens _______________________ ______________________ stated, “________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________” (2) Now restate the lens in your own words

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ (3) The work I will use is _____________________________________________________ by ____________________________________________________________________________. (4) I agree: _________ or I disagree: __________

Write a rough draft of your introduction here:...
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