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Hamlet First or Second Soliloquy In a well-organized essay, examine either Hamlet’s First soliloquy, “O that this too, too sullied flesh would melt” or his Second soliloquy, “O what a rogue…,” and analyze how his diction, imagery, and syntax help to convey how he feels toward his life and how those attitudes reflect his character. 9-8 These well written essays discuss in full, accurate and specific detail Hamlet’s attitudes and character traits. These essays contain an appropriate introduction with a clear, strong thesis statement. Topic sentences address his changing tone and characterization. Examples come from the entire speech and address the elements of tone and character. These essays need not be without flaws, but they demonstrate the writer’s ability to discuss the speech with insight and understanding. These essays control a wide range of the elements of effective writing. 7-6 These essays discuss Hamlet’s character, but less fully, perceptively, or specifically than the 8-9 papers. The introductions are not as developed, and the thesis is not as strong as the top papers. Character traits discussed may not be the most accurate. Examples cited may not be the strongest evidence from the speech that address tone and characterization. Commentary is not as developed as the top papers and does not show the insight in how tone brings out character. Some misreading/misinterpretation of the speech is found in these essays, but not enough to get off topic. They demonstrate the writer’s ability to analyze the speech but with less understanding and insight into Hamlet’s character at this point in the play. The essays break down in some of the more important elements of effective writing. 5 These essays deal superficially with Hamlet’s character or contain severe misreadings of the speech. They lack a clear introduction and/or thesis. They may allude to Hamlet’s character but do not offer specific topic sentences or they cite traits that are inappropriate. Typically comments are overly generalized or simplistic; the commentary may just paraphrase the speech instead of offering insights into Hamlet’s character. Tone is not specifically addressed nor tied into how it develops character. These papers are not as well conceived, organized or developed as the upper half papers. The essays break down in greater extent in the important elements of effective writing. 4-3 These lower half essays may attempt to discuss the character of Hamlet, but their analysis of the topic and the specifics of the topic may be perfunctory or missing. They lack an understanding of the soliloquy itself and what it is in response to in Hamlet’s mind. These essays are often exclusively paraphrases and offer no attempt at character analysis. These essays may convey the writer’s ideas, but they reveal that a more thorough and closer reading of the play is necessary for understanding. They also reveal weak control over such elements as diction, organization, syntax, or grammar.
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