Sample Essay Outlines

Sample Analytical Paper Topics

Topic #1
Antony and Cleopatra was received without enthusiasm by audiences of the early seventeenth century in England. The play has continued to attract attention throughout its nearly 400–year history. Many factors contributed to the audience’s reaction to the play. Discuss these issues in your paper.

I. Thesis Statement: Many social factors contributed to the audience’s negative reaction to Antony and Cleopatra when it was first produced.

II. The difference in time (1600 years) and in location (2000 miles) between where the action of the play takes place and where the play was first produced.
A. Cultural Differences
1. Roman and Egyptian History
2. British Drama
B. Shakespeare’s development of the character Cleopatra, compared to the other characters in the play.
1. Influence of the playwright’s gender on the development of female and male characters.

III. Factors affecting how Antony and Cleopatra was received when it was first produced in England.
A. By the critics
B. By the literate public (who expressed their opinions in writing).
C. By the illiterate public who saw the play performed and expressed their opinions.

IV. Politics that might have affected the way in which Antony and Cleopatra was received in England of the early seventeenth century.
A. The recent union of Scotland and England to become Great Britain.
1. The political repercussions of the imprisonment in England of Mary Queen of Scots.
B. Publication of the “King James” English...

(The entire section is 690 words.)