How should I structure a conclusion for an essay entitled, "What are the differences between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth?"

Expert Answers
mrs-tolley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Writing a conclusion is similar to writing an introduction.

You should summarize your main points, restate your thesis using different words than you did before, and leave the reader with something to think about.

Since I don't know what your main points were, I will use some from eNotes's character analyses of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth for my examples. You can click here to read eNotes's complete character analyses for characters in Macbeth.

These are examples of what you may have used for main points in your essay:

  • While Macbeth becomes more ruthless via the course of the play, Lady Macbeth becomes more remorseful.
  • Macbeth loses the last vestiges of humanity while Lady Macbeth becomes more human, trying to wash her hands of the blood of their victims.
  • Macbeth remains admirable with his vivid imagination and powerful way with words, while Lady Macbeth appears to lose her sanity.

You should summarize these main points in your conclusion, but try to word them differently than you did in the introduction and body paragraphs.

Your thesis might be something along the lines of, "Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are both very ambitious, but they have different character arcs and they are viewed differently by the other characters in the play." You need to state the same thing but in different words in your conclusion. To use different words, I suggest rearranging the sentence order and finding synonyms for the key words. You might come up with something like this: "Though they are both dynamic characters, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's ambition takes them in different directions through the events of the play, and the other characters in the play view them differently from one another."

Finally, leave the reader with a thought-provoking statement or question. This is what I like to call a "wow" finish. Your essay will have more impact if the reader is still thinking about it after finishing reading it. You can also incorporate a quote, fact, or statistic into your "wow." Think of it as an element similar to a hook, but while your hook is used to reel readers in at the beginning of the essay, the "wow" is used to keep readers involved at the end of the essay. For an essay on Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, you might use something like, "What would have happened if Macbeth had not had the influence of his wife in this story?"