Williams Shakespeare was born in England, in April 1564. He's arguably the greatest and most studied writer that has ever lived. During his lifetime, Shakespeare worked on over 400 writings that range from comedy, tragedy, romance, betrayal and more. The significance of his works is so great that colleges have made the study of his works mandatory to all students of English, literature, and poetry. These students are also often required to write a lot of Shakespeare essays, and this might seem difficult because of the complex ways Shakespeare uses his words, sentences and figures of speech. But if you know the basic steps, writing a Shakespeare essay will come easily to you.
A Shakespeare essay is a type of essay that is written usually by English students, with a major focus on a Shakespeare play. It involves identification of resources that are used in writing the play. Just like any other essay, a literary essay requires a perfect understanding of the play your essay is based on. Thus, to write your essay, you must understand the way Shakespeare uses his words, metaphors, irony, and all other tools of writing in his works. To do this one must have a perfect command of English language and literature.
To write your Shakespeare essay, you need to be familiar with the history of the ancient world. Understanding history is important because it easily helps you to relate your essay to what is happening at a particular time in history. For example, it will be very disastrous for you to cite the fall of the Roman Empire to North Africa. The roman empire was one of the biggest empires in history, could politics and disloyalty be the major factor that led to its demise? The answer to this can serve as an introduction to your essay that relates to the roman empire. It's also important to understand the motives of each character.
If you study Shakespeare’s works properly, you would discover that he did not make the story of each character complicated, rather, he made the story of each character very simple and yet filled with emotions. Try to put yourself in his shoes and understand how he did this. Generate your own opinions and use them as this will be a lot better than writing your essay based on other writers' opinions.
To understand perfectly the setting, plot, and the role of each character, try to watch a play that is based on the particular story you are working on. While you are choosing the play you want to watch, it is preferable to choose old videos that depict each character, and let you know how they relate with each other. These plays will serve as a perfect reference source and it will also help you to notice some little details you might not have noticed when you are reading the play.
If you are having problems understanding the play, try to follow the lead character. Understand how he or she becomes a popular figure in the play. Think harder on their various experiences, what prompted their actions, and also finally, how they survived the various tribulations they experienced.
Look through the essay and try to identify what prompted the actions of each character. Here you would discover that emotion could affect good judgment, but this should not be the case. In most Shakespeare tragedies, he shows how power could corrupt anyone. Also, some other things like what people could do because of love, envy, hate, and money are clearly shown. Finally, relate and compare the motives of each character, show the importance of these relations.
When you are writing on a particular play, you should try to relate to the cast of the play you are writing on. For example: What similarities do you have with Julius Caesar? Are you as innocent as Romeo? These basic facts will help you to polish the essay. Give some ideas of what you think should have been done or what you would have done if you were in the same position. These will impress your teacher and show the teacher you understand the role of each character.
You do not have to try too hard to understand everything that Shakespeare had written in his plays, pick the one you are comfortable with and write on it. If you are having trouble with one or two themes you can also ask questions to clear your doubts.
After you have considered all the tips above for writing your Shakespeare essay, you should read through the play, and check if you have discussed all the major points in your paper. There should be enough emphasis on the lead or the titular character. Also, the main villain should be well expressed as it plays a major part in your essay.
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