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Paragraph Write On

Paragraph Write On

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Published by Stuart Henderson

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Published by: Stuart Henderson on Aug 12, 2012
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08/12/2012

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Topic Sentence this must

introduce the technique the paragraph
will focus on, while also connecting
into both the topic and the thesis
statement. Avoid being too broad.
2 7 0


Evidence #1 look for evidence
that will allow you to dig deeply -
imagery helps here, or obvious
language choices being made that you
can unpack.
Unpack: Effect what is the
immediate effect of the example?
Stick to the text here, don’t go wider.
2 7 0


Unpack: How how is the effect
created? This needs to be language
level stuff; break down the quote.
2 7 0


Implication some connection to
the thesis but also back to the topic as
well.
2
7
0


Evidence #2 look for
complimentary evidence and always
make sure to try and show a
connection to the first example as you
introduce the second example.
2
7
0


Unpack: Effect & How you
don’t need as much detail the second
time, but you should be sure to
express the effect and how the effect
is created.
2 7 0


Prove your thesis after doing
the work of examining the text, you
need to draw conclusions directly out
of the examination that tie back into
your original thesis, i.e. something to
with society, humanity, or the human
condition. There also needs to be a
clear tie back into the topic - which
means using words from the topic.
2
7
0


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Thesis
What are you trying to argue?
Connect to the topic and connect to a
wider idea.
Topic Sentence this must
introduce the technique the paragraph
will focus on, while also connecting
into both the topic and the thesis
statement. Avoid being too broad.
2 7 0


Evidence #1 look for evidence
that will allow you to dig deeply -
imagery helps here, or obvious
language choices being made that you
can unpack.
Unpack: Effect what is the
immediate effect of the example?
Stick to the text here, don’t go wider.
2 7 0


Unpack: How how is the effect
created? This needs to be language
level stuff; break down the quote.
2 7 0


Implication some connection to
the thesis but also back to the topic as
well.
2
7
0


Evidence #2 look for
complimentary evidence and always
make sure to try and show a
connection to the first example as you
introduce the second example.
2
7
0


Unpack: Effect & How you
don’t need as much detail the second
time, but you should be sure to
express the effect and how the effect
is created.
2
7
0


Prove your thesis after doing
the work of examining the text, you
need to draw conclusions directly out
of the examination that tie back into
your original thesis, i.e. something to
with society, humanity, or the human
condition. There also needs to be a
clear tie back into the topic - which
means using words from the topic.
2 7 0


Topic: To what extent is the concept of power central to King Lear
as a whole?
Thesis: I want to argue that the concept of power is central to
Lear as a whole because Shakespeare is interested in exploring
the relationship between humanity and power, especially the
human tendency to be corrupted by power.

Power is an ultimately corrupting force in Lear, seen particularly
through the use of Edmund as a character, whose journey
explores the very human desire for power while at the same time
illustrating just how easily corrupted humanity is by the presence
of power.

Edmund begins the play feeling understandably wronged. He asks
“Why bastard? Wherefore base?...Why brand they us with
base?...base, base?”

Edmund’s questioning here draws attention to both his
powerlessness within the royal system and also his frustration and
incomprehension at that very position of powerlessness.

The repetition and the rhetorical questions are important here. We
see just how obsessive Edmund is about his position through the
repetition of “base”, making it difficult for the audience to ignore
Edmund’s place at the bottom of the heap. The questioning nature
of Edmund’s tone compliments the soliloquy form, drawing the
reader in and helping the audience to connect to Edmund as we
can empathise with the feeling of being powerless.

The desire for power is clear here, with Edmund’s phrasing
making that desire seem understandable and very human. This
desire though will shape Edmund’s actions from here on out as he
seeks to gain the power he desires.

While Shakespeare shows here that this desire for power is a part
of human nature, his construction of Edmund’s journey shows
how easily corrupted humanity is by that very power. We see this
towards the close of the play, as Edmund shows no mercy to
either Lear or Cordelia. Speaking of Albany’s plans for the two,
Edmund suggests: “As for the mercy / Which he intends to Lear
and to Cordelia, / The battle done, and they within our power, /
Shall never see his pardon”, the clear suggestion being that he
intends their death.

The impact of the line here is the loss of all empathy for Edmund.
Shakespeare provides this by offering the reader this harsh
penalty on two characters who have not wronged Edmund. His
choice is based either in the desire to protect his power, or just to
show it off.

And so what Shakespeare creates through Edmund’s journey is a
representation of a very human flaw towards power. We want it,
it’s a very human want - as we feel when we empathise with
Edmund’s powerlessness - but in the end Edmund’s struggle for
and with power across the play illustrates the inability of humanity
to wield that power humanely. As A.C. Bradley suggests, by the
end of the play, Edmund’s illegitimacy is no excuse for his villainy.
It has gone beyond righting a personal grievance and has pushed
towards an obsession with power that ultimately causes
Edmund’s destruction. Shakespeare’s decision to have power as
a central concept in the journey of Edmund allows the reader to
reflect on the nature of power, but more so, it acts as a reminder
that human nature is ultimately corrupted by ultimate power.

Thesis
What are you trying to argue?
Connect to the topic and connect to
society/humanity/the human condition.

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