Romeo and Juliet


THE ESSAY PROMPT:  In this unit we’ve been exploring different perspectives on romantic love, culminating in our study of one of the most widely read romances of all time. For this paper you are being asked to synthesize what you’ve learned by answering the following: What argument is Shakespeare making about love in Romeo and Juliet? More specifically, what does this play reveal about what love is, the problems or consequences of love, the conditions that create it, how it shapes our decisions and behavior, OR why it matters (and HOW is this conveyed in the play)? Begin by using either the scientists we studied OR Stendhal to provide some context for your argument by defining what love is. Then, analyze at least TWO specific examples from Romeo and Juliet to help demonstrate the argument that you think Shakespeare is making about love through his play. Finally, conclude with the following reflection: To what extent do you think that reading literature about love (like Romeo and Juliet) can help us better understand this quintessential human experience? Are any of the other academic perspectives on love that we’ve studied (scientific, historical, or philosophical) MORE effective than literature in helping us understand love?

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What is an outline again? Remember, an outline is a road map, or plan, of what your essay will become.

What is it for? In other words, why am I being asked to do this again? We want to make sure that the essay is structured clearly and effectively to follow the line of reasoning established in your thesis statement. Planning it out beforehand will ensure that your essay is organized, clear, and supports the larger argument (your thesis) when you go to write it.

Some tips:
In section I (the introduction), start by JUST including the thesis statement.
For the rest of the sections:
The section headings (written as topics, NOT as full sentences)
The claims for each section (these should be in full sentences, structured just like mini-thesis statements).
The textual evidence (quotes!) that you will use to support each of the section’s claims, with citations.
Bullet points of what you plan to include in the interpretation section for each claim.
Bullet points of what you’ll address in the conclusion

1. Introduction
Thesis: Through _______, William Shakespeare suggests/makes the argument that…

2. [Insert section heading here]
Claim:  …
Context (background info for the quote)
a) …
a) …
a) …

3.[Insert section heading here]
Claim: …
        a) …
          a) …
        a) …


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