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oatmeal1642's avatar

What would be good three main points for my Shakespeare essay thesis?

Asked by oatmeal1642 (180 points ) February 12th, 2012

I need help developing three main points for three paragraphs for my essay with the ideas I have.

Here is my thesis:

Shakespeare demonstrates a pessimistic view towards marriage’s capacity to provide contentment if it does not follow society’s traditional rules.

Here are my thoughts.
Shakespeare sees marriage as social union/duty.
Shakespeare sees passionate love as a disease
Will look at Othello and A Midsummer Night’s Dream to demonstrate this idea.

Othello:
Desdemona disobeys duty to her father.
Ends in tragedy.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream:
Proper marriage according to Shakespeare:
Theseus and Hippolyta: wins her in war, love follows. follows traditional values.
Improper:
Hermia and Lysander: social rebellion.
They marry at the end, but throughout the play their romantic love is ridiculed, made to look foolish and chaotic.
The ending of the play doesn’t demonstrate pure happiness in the marriages.

Thanks in advance for the help.

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10 Answers

Aethelflaed's avatar

Midsummer:
When you’re in love (or infatuation, as the case may be), you literally become an ass.

Othello:
Jealousy will drive you to murder your beloved.

Have you considered adding in Romeo and Juliet as a third play making that point? Because the story there is pretty much that choosing love over traditional marriage will end in death for not just the two in love, but some loved ones as well.

oatmeal1642's avatar

I can only choose two from what we’ve read throughout the course so far. One has to be a tragedy, and one has to be a comedy.

I need three main points that prove my thesis.

auhsojsa's avatar

The point of these essays are for you to develop your own spin and opinions in life. That is my help :D

oatmeal1642's avatar

I’m aware of that! I’m not asking for someone to develop an essay for me. I am just having trouble organizing my thoughts. Just looking for help to sort my ideas that I’ve written above into three main points.

auhsojsa's avatar

@oatmeal1642 Grab a piece of paper. Write down everything you remember about the story. Title them. Choose your favorites of these titles.

Jeruba's avatar

I think that to prove your thesis, you need to take it apart, and that’s where you’ll find your main points.

Shakespeare’s [word missing here] demonstrates a pessimistic view towards marriage’s capacity to provide contentment if it does not follow society’s traditional rules.

• Marriage has a capacity to provide contentment if it does follow society’s rules.
• These marriages do not follow society’s rules.
• These marriages fail to provide contentment.

(Note, this is not a logical syllogism here—if, then, therefore. It’s just a breakdown of your thesis into points you can argue on the basis of those plays.)

CWOTUS's avatar

I think you need to reconsider the entire thesis. (I appreciate @Jeruba‘s attempt to make sense of it, but it’s nonsensical on its face.)

Do you think that marriage “provides contentment” to anyone? Here I can appreciate that you may be young – juvenile, even, since I don’t know if you’re in high school, college, or beyond – but adults understand that marriage does not and can not “provide contentment”. Marriage can succeed or fail, and partners can be happy with each other or not, but a marriage will never provide – and cannot provide – “contentment”. “Happily ever after” exists only in children’s bedtime stories: fairy tales. Some of Shakespeare’s works were “fanciful”, such as Midsummer Night’s Dream, for example, but they were not as simplistic as fairy tales. Don’t try to analyze them as such.

If you want to write a thesis about whether marriage can succeed or fail, or whether partners can find happiness in marriage based on what Shakespeare presents, then have at that. Talk about how the partners relate to each other, not “to marriage”. Take an adult viewpoint and examine the works and write from that viewpoint. Shakespeare didn’t write fairy tales; he wrote about more or less adult humans, human interactions with each other and normal human emotions, not so much with broad concepts. In other words, he used individual characters and interactions to make statements about those broad concepts. So look at the particular characters and interactions – after you’ve reworded your thesis.

Jeruba's avatar

@CWOTUS, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the thesis. It doesn’t have to relate to truth, life experience from an adult perspective, or couples therapy. All it has to do is be arguable within the context of the literature that the questioner has chosen. If he or she can support it adequately from the text, that ought to complete the assignment.

My suggestion doesn’t imply that I agree or disagree with the thesis or even that I think it’s provable or I don’t. It only proposes a way of tackling the challenge that the OP has decided to take on.

oatmeal1642's avatar

I don’t think my thesis looks at Shakespeare’s works as simplistic in any sense. However, I did decide to take contentment out of my essay last night in order to simplify the thesis into a more clear statement. My thesis is now “Shakespeare demonstrates a pessimistic view towards marriage that does not follow traditional Elizabethan values.”

Thank you all for your input.

Jeruba's avatar

Too bad you can’t use The Taming of the Shrew to illustrate that one.

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