English 758, Paper #1

Your first paper should develop a thesis about how a film or films offer(s) an interpretation of Shakespeare's script.  You should offer an account of how the film or films interpret the Shakespeare play at hand, and you should certainly offer descriptions of specific details that support the interpretive pattern you see.  You should particularly avoid writing a review:  focus on describing some pattern of interpretation at work in your film(s) that is not immediately obvious to a casual viewer, and not on evaluating the film(s).  I will expect you to use many, if not all, of the skills you've been practicing with the first four written exercises in this class.

One caution:  this paper is only 6-7 pages long (do not exceed the page limit).  You should probably identify something quite specific to focus on, so that you can be relatively thorough in explicating it.  You might focus, for example, on:

You should identify your specific focus and your thesis claim in your opening paragraph.  UNDERLINE YOUR THESIS STATEMENT IN THE FINAL DRAFT.  Your thesis should not be something like "there are many similarities and differences between Shakespeare's script of Othello and Parker's film version."  That is obvious to any casual viewer.  Rather, you should make an interpretive claim about those similarities and differences:  "Parker's Othello, through Branagh's portrayal of Iago, stresses that Iago's jealous love for Othello is his primary motivation."