Is this a good thesis statement to prove that Juliet is the protagonist and not Romeo? Can you help me improve it?Here is my thesis statement: It is clear that Juliet is the obvious protagonist...

Is this a good thesis statement to prove that Juliet is the protagonist and not Romeo? Can you help me improve it?

Here is my thesis statement:

It is clear that Juliet is the obvious protagonist because she undergoes the most change, is a dynamic character and is more mature than Romeo.

Expert Answers
ktmagalia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Your thesis is a good starting point for your essay, and it is clear the direction which you will follow within your body paragraphs.  However, like it is said, "Writing is never DONE, it is just DUE", so yes, some improvement can always be made.

A thesis statement includes a statement of FACT, and a statement of OPINION. Not necessarily in that order. 

If you take a look at your starting point, your opinion consists of your commentary regarding Juliet being "the most obvious protagonist" (because this could be argued), and your facts consists of her description being "dynamic and more mature than Romeo." 

First, let's examine the definition of a protagonist.

1. The main character in a drama or other literary work. 2. In ancient Greek drama, the first actor to engage in dialogue with the chorus, in later dramas playing the main character and some minor characters as well. 3. a. A leading or principal figure. b. The leader of a cause; a champion.

So, which character is truly the leading or principal figure in the play? In your thesis, you will be choosing Juliet. But is she really "the most "obvious" because she undergoes the most change? Is that what makes her "obvious"? Or is there another word that is more fitting? Strong? Believable? Or just simply, Juliet is the protagonist of the play? After all,

The question for speakers of modern English is whether a drama can have more than one protagonist. When members of the Usage Panel were asked "How many protagonists are there in Othello?" the great majority answered "One" ...Nevertheless, the word has been used in the plural to mean "important actors" or "principal characters" since at least 1671 when John Dryden wrote "Tis charg'd upon me that I make debauch'd persons ... my protagonists, or the chief persons of the drama."

So, perhaps your wording of "obvious" isn't fitting. I would suggest rephrasing your opinion. As far as your factual information, remember that a dynamic character is a character that undergoes change, so stating that "she undergoes change, and is a dynamic character" is a redundant statement. Pick one and stick with it. Next, ask yourself about her maturity.  Is this truly what makes her the protagonist over Romeo? If a protagonist is a leading, principal character and even one who is a leader of a cause (as stated in the definition), what truly makes her a protagonist.  I don't believe that it is her maturity.  Consider Juliet's actions, values, morals, and how the two plots of the play centered around her decisions and actions. Simply put, restate your opinion and tighten up your factual statement with more breadth.

clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This looks like a well thought thesis.  You've set yourself up with three points to prove in the body paragraphs.  Definitely keep this structure, but consider a couple things.

One thing that needs tweaking (to me) is that you say she undergoes the most change and is a dynamic character.  Essentially, these are the same thing.  This means you really need to work out one other idea that would take an entire paragraph to prove.  Also - does being more mature than Romeo make her more of a prominent character?  (I'd argue no.)  Keep in mind you are saying she's the protagonist, which means plays the main part; the character around whom the plot revolves.

If I were you, I'd consider that once Romeo kills Tybalt - everything does essentially revolve around Juliet and her decisions.

Think about these as three points: she's the main character (one of them), she's the most dynamic, and the majority of the plot revolves around her.  Now, in this, you have to distinguish between being a main character and the plot revolving around her.  I guess I'd consider the prominence of her family and Romeo's interest in her for "main character" and go with plot twists and turns for the revolution of plot around her.

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Romeo and Juliet

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