title ), christopher nolan (” poet “) uses dark shadows H u m a n i t i e s

title ), christopher nolan (” poet “) uses dark shadows H u m a n i t i e s

For this third essay assignment, you will be selecting ONE central poem to focus on. You can discuss other poems if they help you to analyze your chosen poem, but the essay from start to finish should clearly be focused on one poetic work. A good rule is to only mention your chosen poem in your thesis, and then make sure that each body paragraph DIRECTLY connects back to that thesis statement.

For your chosen poem, you will have two tasks: to identify the central theme of the poem and to identify and analyze the various literary devices used by the author to create that them. Your claim or argument presented in your thesis should take the shape of what this poem establishes or shows us about the theme. I’ll give you an example using the movie The Dark Knight as an example.

In The Dark Knight (title), Christopher Nolan (“poet”) uses dark shadows and lighting, ominous, not heroic music, and a major focus on the villain of the film Joker in order to show how heroism is a burden and will ultimately lead to the failure or demise of the hero.

Read that closely. No rational human being could disagree that the movie is about a hero or heroism – it’s a superhero movie! However, someone could disagree with my analysis of the superhero movie, that this movie is about the downfall of the hero and how that is a natural result of heroism. See that? That’s an argument! Now I can spend the rest of my essay defending that analysis of the movie by using specific examples and explaining them.

Essay should be 5-6 pages, all MLA formatting requirements met, with a works cited page.

Primary Criteria (What it takes to pass)

  • Essay focuses throughout on a central single poem; additional info can be borrowed from other sources, but all of that info should be used to discuss the one selected work
  • Thesis establishes the theme, some of the literary devices used to establish the theme, and a central claim about what the poem tells/shows/establishes about that theme
  • Specific examples from the poem quoted or paraphrased, cited, and then expanded to support that central claim

Secondary Criteria (What it takes to get an A)

  • Ambitious and clearly defined claim regarding the theme of the essay showing a more universal application or statement outside of just the confines of the poem
  • Use of other poetic works and outside source information to further contextualize the poem (political, historical, biographical, etc.)
  • Balanced and expansive use of literary devices going beyond just the few very obvious ones like imagery and repetition (but these are important too!)