What is your argument? You need to ensure you have an overall ‘thesis statement’ – this must be your answer to the above title – see sheet.
A brief introduction to how Macbeth is a tragedy about the demise of a heroic figure (a tragic hero) as a result of his struggle between desire for power and attempts to retain his integrity. Explain how Stephenson explores similar ideas/themes through the changing character of Dr Jekyll in “The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”. Explain how many years apart the two texts were written, and what you think the main effect of the context of each text was on the overall meaning of it.
Now you are going to write the main body of your essay, first exploring how Shakespeare presents changing characters in Macbeth, then how Stevenson presents changing characters in J&H.
Using the key questions we have explored in class, select the most pertinent ones to guide your argument. It is probably wise to follow Macbeth’s demise chronologically through the Acts.
It is also wise to include a short section on Lady Macbeth’s change of character.
Each paragraph should be a PEACH:
You must include a piece of detailed language analysis in EVERY POINT You must try to make some links to context at the end of every point (it will not be possible/relevant at the end of each point, but do your best to refer to the Jacobean audience whenever you can – stay focused on character development though!)
Explore the way Macbeth and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde shows characters changing.
1. Intro – You might introduce the change in Jekyll and make a link to Macbeth. Could you integrate Victorian context at this point (AO4)?
e.g. “Arguably, both Macbeth and Jekyll are destroyed by faults in their own characters. Like Macbeth, Jekyll causes his own self destruction, motivated by his realisation that ‘man is not truly one, but truly two’ and ‘the thought of the separation of these two elements’. The oppressive Victorian context in which Jekyll resides and his desire to appear as an upstanding citizen, ‘fond of the respect of the wise and good’ means he previously sought to repress his baser instinct, his id, concealing his ‘pleasures’, the consequence of which is arguably his downfall.
2. Focus on Chapter 3: How is Jekyll introduced to the reader? Make a link to Macbeth.
e.g. In the same way that Macbeth’s character is reported to the audience before we meet him, the first suggestion of Jekyll is through Doctor Lanyon’s description of him as ‘wrong in the mind’, and having become ‘too fanciful’ for him.
e.g. In the same way that in the opening of the play, Macbeth is depicted as a ‘noble’ and ‘valiant’ war hero, Dr Henry Jekyll is characterised positively, externally at least, as a warm and handsome Victorian gentleman in our first introduction to him.
Ch 3 Quotations showing positive characterisation of Jekyll:
‘large, well-made man…warm affection’
‘carried it off gaily’
‘large, handsome face’
(AO4) How might you integrate context to this discussion of the introduction of Jekyll’s character?
Context: Victorian gentleman/Freud’s superego
Could you put a link to Macbeth within this section?
E.g. Like Macbeth his high moral standing on introduction will later serve to emphasise the extent of his change and downfall.
You might touch on Jekyll’s reaction to the mention of Hyde in Chapter 3. How does this create a sense of mystery and arguably foreshadow his change in character?
E.g. The dramatic change which is witnessed later in the novel is first evident on Jekyll’s reaction to the mention of Mr Hyde where… (‘large handsome face…pale…blackness…to eyes’ p20). Mystery is created through the suggestions of a connection between Jekyll and Hyde.
3. Focus Chapter 5: following Hyde’s murder of Carew, how does Stevenson presents a dramatic change in Jekyll’s character?