Close Analysis Essay
Length: 4-5 pages total (a minimum of 3 full pages of analysis, and approximately 2 pages of passage/paraphrase)
This essay is a close analysis of a passage from Titus Andronicus
Your essay will be composed of two parts:
1. an original paraphrase of one passage not to exceed thirty consecutive lines
2. a close analysis of that passage, focused by an argumentative thesis statement, which pays VERY close attention to the passage’s language by analyzing its function, conflicts, tone, imagery, word choice, etc. Your essay should relate the passage, and your analysis of it, to the larger issues at stake in the play. Consider why your passage is important. Does it foreshadow future events or explain earlier ones? Does it provide important insights into particular characters? Don’t try to discuss the whole play; just consider how your close analysis of the passage is important to an interpretation of one aspect of the play. Be careful to avoid providing summary of the plot instead of analysis—you need to dig deeper than that, and the layout of this assignment is designed to help you do this.
Here are the steps you should take to complete this assignment:
1. After your heading information and essay title, type out your passage in its original language, observing the line breaks of the verse and attributing dialogue properly. Don’t forget to include the title of the play and the act, scene, and line numbers.
2. Now paraphrase the passage (if your passage is 30 lines, your paraphrase should be close to that too) by putting the sense of each line into a new sentence structure with your own vocabulary. If you don’t know some of the words, or they seem to be used in a way you are unfamiliar with, look them up in the Oxford English Dictionary—in the analysis portion of the assignment you can use what you’ve learned from the OED to further your analysis of the passage. You aren’t interpreting meaning here; you are just restating what is being said in your own words. The process of restating and translating the original will help explain meaning, but it will also distort it; consider what is “lost in translation.”
NOTE: The original passage and your paraphrase should be single-spaced and should probably take up no more than two pages; if they do, keep in mind that you still need to write at least three full double-spaced pages of close analysis.
3. For your analysis, you need to go back to the original passage; hopefully your paraphrase has helped you understand it better. Now consider, very carefully, how and where the passage leads you in interpreting one aspect of the play. Begin by re-identifying the place and passage you analyze (“Othello delivers his final speech in act 5, scene 3, lines 338-56”). Then provide a clear thesis statement that makes a specific argument about your passage. The rest of your essay will give evidence for the thesis through a close reading of the passage’s language.
• Select a passage that is verbally rich and contains at least some figurative language; it should also contribute significantly to the play’s action and meaning.
• Be sure to cite small excerpts of the text frequently as you analyze. Use quotations to support your claims and do not quote large unanalyzed chunks of text.
• Organize your ideas clearly.
• Write clearly, concisely, and without grammatical or proofreading errors.
• Cite properly.
• Consult my handout, “Guidelines for Essays,” for more information on writing essays. You can make use of my office hours at any stage in the process and/or consult one of the writing tutors at the Learning Resource Center. Please note that I do not read and respond to drafts via email—if you cannot make my office hours, I’m happy to schedule a meeting with you at an alternate time.
Titus Andronicus: Act 1, scene 1, lines 104-120
Stay, Roman brethren!—Gracious conqueror,
Victorious Titus, rue the tears I shed,
A mother’s tears in passion for her son.
And if thy sons were ever dear to thee,
O think my son to be as dear to me.
Sufficeth not that we are brought to Rome
To beautify thy triumphs and return
Captive to thee and to thy Roman yoke,
But must my sons be slaughtered in the streets
For valiant doings in their country’s cause?
O, if to fight for king and commonweal
Were piety in thine, it is in these!
Andronicus, stain not thy tomb with blood.
Wilt thou draw near the nature of the gods?
Draw near them then in being merciful.
Sweet mercy is nobility’s true badge.
Thrice-noble Titus, spare my first-born son.
References must come only from the book!
the passage i chose for my paper was cut off so i uploaded an up dated version
the chosen passage is on page 3
so I’d like one page of paraphrase and three pages of analysis please of that chosen passage