I need to reword my thesis [added below] into a general thesis statement, without including the subtopics of ghosts, magic spells, and prophecies.Relating to Shakespeare's Macbeth and A Midsummer...

I need to reword my thesis [added below] into a general thesis statement, without including the subtopics of ghosts, magic spells, and prophecies.

Relating to Shakespeare's Macbeth and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Question: What supernatural forces can be seen in the two Shakespearean plays of Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream?

Answer (thesis): In the time of Shakespeare, there was a strong belief in the existence of the supernatural role recurring in his two plays, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream through the mystical forces of the ghost, prophecies, and magic spells which drive the development and resolution of the plot.

Asked on by mavimalik

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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First of all, you write well and your thesis is a well thought out and interesting one. I'm a little unclear as to how your thesis relates to the Question you identify. The reason is that your thesis seems in essence to be, "Whatever supernatural forces there are, they drive the development and resolution of the plot," while the Question seems in essence to be, "What supernatural forces are there?" In other words, a direct answer to the Question would begin something like: "The supernatural forces in these plays are (1) (2) (3)." I'm not suggesting this is what your thesis should say; I'm only explaining why I am a little unclear and therefore a little unsure of the best advice to give you.

Having said that, within my understanding of your aim, I have two suggestions for rewording your thesis statement, which is:

  • Thesis: In the time of Shakespeare, there was a strong belief in the existence of the supernatural role recurring in his two plays, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream through the mystical forces of the ghost, prophecies, and magic spells which drive the development and resolution of the plot.

My first suggestion is that you might shift your emphasis from "the time of Shakespeare" to the "belief" during the that time. You might try something like:

  • The strong belief in the supernatural during the time of Shakespeare is revealed in Macbeth and A Midsummer's Night's Dream as these mystical elements drive the development and resolution of the plot.

This combines the elements of belief and time while including your thesis concept that mystical supernatural elements "drive the development and resolution of the plot."

My second suggestion would be to break your thesis statement into two parts. The first part would contribute further to the background information your Introduction most likely contains. The second sentence would actually be the thesis statement. According to this suggestion, you might write something like this:

  • In the time of Shakespeare, there was a strong belief in the existence of the supernatural, and the supernatural had a recurring role in Shakespeare's two plays, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In these two plays, the mystical forces of the supernatural drive the development and resolution of the plot.

In this suggestion, the element of Shakespeare's "time" and "strong belief" remain in their current relationship but are part of the background information, while "mystical forces" and "plot" take on new emphasis.

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