Literary Analysis


The goal of this essay is to persuade your readers of the efficacy of your original argument driven analysis of one early modern play (Marlowe, Shakespeare, Ford, etc.) through logical progression and close analysis of primary and secondary texts. You’ll publish your short paper as a .pdf or .docx in to a static page.


  • Make an arguable claim about one early modern play and the question of the animal (animals studies, posthumanism, or soverienty). For more on arguable thesis/claim click here and here.
  • Develop your claim through close analysis of at least three passages from Jew of Malta, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Macbeth, or the Witch of Edmonton. For more on how to close read see here. Also the articles you read should offer good examples of what close analysis looks like, remember vehicle and tenor. 
  • Show how your argument fits into a larger conversation about early modern drama and animals by including analysis and citation from at least one scholarly, ecocritical source. For more on how to read scholarly sources see here.
  • Essay must include a clear claim on the required topics; key terms defined and used consistently throughout; close analysis of both primary and secondary source text that accounts for linguistic features and meaning; topic sentences and transitions that show how your readings develop your claim; and few to no grammar, sentence, and mechanical issues.
  • Final draft needs to be at least 3,500-4,000 words long; all in-text citations and works cited in MLA; published to a static page as a .pdf w/a short header
I will use the following to assess the final draft of your Literary Analysis essay.
  • 1. Does the paper fulfill the requirements of the assignment-does the paper make an arguable claim about the relationship between early modern drama and the animal throughout? (30%)
  • 2. Does the paper include at least a paragraph of context and/or definition of key terms/methods with reference to at least one outside, secondary critical, academic source? Is the secondary source tied into the rest of the paper? (10%)
  • 3. Does the paper develop the main claim or thesis through close analysis of at lease three pieces of textual evidence from Marlowe, Shakespeare, etc.? Does the paper show how the passages support the claim being made, i.e. do you read the passages you chose for literary features and tie the analysis into the larger claim? (30%)
  • 4. Is the paper acceptably free of sentence level errors–grammar,mechanics, word choice, etc? Are all in-text and works cited citations in MLA? (10%)
  • 5. Was the paper published as a .pdf or .docx file to a static page of your website on or before the due date? Is the paper the requisite length? (10%)