Part 2: Descriptive Writing 10 points each/ 20 points total

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Part 2: Descriptive Writing 10 points each/ 20 points total

Directions: We began the year with a unit on writing, specifically descriptive writing. (remember the lemon?!) We discussed how to communicate a main idea in a paragraph, sensory details and imagery, personal experience, etc. Now, you must demonstrate what you learned by completing the following two descriptive writing exercises. Use the space the provided. Each response is worth 10 points. To earn 10 points your paragraph must clearly communicate a main idea, use sensory imagery, and follow the guidelines listed for each activity. Good luck!


Directions: Writer Eudora Welty said, "Every story would be another story, and unrecognizable if it took up its characters and plot and happened somewhere else... Fiction depends for its life on place.
Writers describe the world they know. Sights, sounds, colors, and textures are all vividly painted in words as an artist paints images on canvas. A writer imagines a story to be happening in a place that is rooted in his or her mind. The location of a story's actions, along with the time in which it occurs, is the setting.

Setting is created by language. How many or how few details we learn is up to the author. (

Look at the picture below. In one detailed paragraph, with a clear main idea, describe the location below. You may choose to describe the interior, the exterior, or both. You must use sensory details. Dead words: mansion, rich, happy, sad, is.


Directions: Creating complex characters takes time---time spent thinking about how your characters look, where they're from, and what motivates them, for instance. To a large degree, characters grow out of a sense of setting. With this in mind, you must do the following: examine the picture of the man below. This man is somehow linked to the picture you examined for Setting. Now he is linked to the setting picture is up to you. In one wel developed paragraph, describe the man in the picture using sensory details. What does he look like? How does he feel? How old is your character? Where is he from? What is his name? What does he do for a living? What is your character's goal or motivation in this story or scene? How is he connected to the Setting picture? Dead Words: man, boy, poor, rich, sad, happy, mad, young, and old. Good luck!

Your Name:__________________________________________

Part 3: Short Answer 6 points each/30 points_

Directions: Respond to each of the following in several well developed and detailed sentences.

1. Lady Macbeth suggests to Macbeth: “Look like the innocent flower but be the serpent underneath.” What does she mean and how successful are the Macbeths in adopting such an attitude? Give specific examples from the text to support your answer.

2. Explain how the following poem by Alice Walker relates to Lady Macbeth:


Alice Walker

All winter long

I’ve borne the knife that presses

Without ceasing

Against my heart

Despising the lies

I have told everyone

The truth:

Truth is killing me.

3. Act 3 of a Shakespearean Drama is known as the climax of the play. Explain how and why the banquet scene in Act 3 marks the turning point of the play.

4. Compare and contrast the four murders (Duncan, Banquo, and Lady Macduff and her son) that Macbeth plans or commits during the course of the play. How does he justify each of the murders? In other words, what motivates him to kill certain people? Do any of the murders seem more senseless than the others? Explain.

5. “To see and listen to the wicked is already the beginning of wickedness” Confucius. Explain how this relates to Macbeth and to what extent you believe the quote holds true for Macbeth. In other words, is Macbeth inherently evil or is he seduced by evil forces to commit murderous deeds?

Part 4: Essay 30 points each/ 60 points total

Directions: Reflect back on Macbeth and consider how and why he changes. Next, collect a series of quotations that plot the changes in Macbeth and others’ perceptions of him. For each quotation, write a brief comment. Try to bring out the various conflicting aspects of his character: ambition/duty, bravery/fear, strength/uncertainty, good/evil. Place the quotations and your comments in the table below. Your quotes should also span the play; include a quote from Act 1, Act 3, and Act 5 to show how Macbeth changes. Include the act and scene for each quote Two examples have been done for you.



Example: Duncan, “What he has lost, noble Macbeth has won” (Act 1, scene 3)

This quote shows how Macbeth is brave and that the king thinks he is brave by honoring him with a new title.

Example: Macbeth, “Why do I yield to that suggestion, whose awful image doth unfix my hair” (Act 1, scene 3)

Macbeth is considering murdering the king but he is frightened by the thought of what this will involve.

(5 points)

(5 points)

(5 points)

(5 points)

(5 points)

(5 points)

Next…Imagine you were going to use the three quotes you identified above to compose a five paragraph essay in which you argue how and why Macbeth changes. (Don’t worry. I’m not asking you to do that.) Rather than write the entire five paragraph essay, I would like you to write the first two paragraphs.

First, compose an introductory paragraph (15 points) that includes the title, author, and a summary of the play. Then lead into your thesis, the last line of your introduction. Your thesis should look something like this:

Macbeth changes from ___________ to _________ because of ____________, ____________, and __________.

In other words, Macbeth changes from what kind of person to what kind of person and why? What qualities or flaws in his character cause this change? Power? Ambition? Greed?

Finally… write the first body paragraph (15 points) of your essay. You must have a clear topic sentence and use one of the direct quotes you identified in the table on the previous page. Be sure to explain the quote and explain how it relates to your thesis.

Good Luck!

Part 5: Short Story: Response to Literature 40 points_

Directions: In preparation for our next unit, The Short Story, you will read the short story “The Tell-Tale Heart” and answer the following reader-response questions in several well developed sentences.

1. What are your thoughts and questions about the story? You might reflect upon the characters, their problems, the title, or other ideas in the story.

2. How does the main character change from the beginning of the story to the end? What do you think causes this change? 

3. What does this story say about people in general? In what ways does it remind you of Macbeth?

4. How successful was the author in creating a good piece of literature (a good story)?  Use examples from the story to explain your thinking.

The Tell-Tale Heart”

Edgar Allan Poe

TRUE! nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why WILL you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How then am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily, how calmly, I can tell you the whole story.

It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain, but, once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this! One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture -- a pale blue eye with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me my blood ran cold, and so by degrees, very gradually, I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye for ever.

Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded -- with what caution -- with what foresight, with what dissimulation, I went to work! I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him. And every night about midnight I turned the latch of his door and opened it oh, so gently! And then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head, I put in a dark lantern all closed, closed so that no light shone out, and then I thrust in my head. Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in! I moved it slowly, very, very slowly, so that I might not disturb the old man's sleep. It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far that I could see him as he lay upon his bed. Ha! would a madman have been so wise as this? And then when my head was well in the room I undid the lantern cautiously -- oh, so cautiously -- cautiously (for the hinges creaked), I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye. And this I did for seven long nights, every night just at midnight, but I found the eye always closed, and so it was impossible to do the work, for it was not the old man who vexed me but his Evil Eye. And every morning, when the day broke, I went boldly into the chamber and spoke courageously to him, calling him by name in a hearty tone, and inquiring how he had passed the night. So you see he would have been a very profound old man, indeed , to suspect that every night, just at twelve, I looked in upon him while he slept.

Upon the eighth night I was more than usually cautious in opening the door. A watch's minute hand moves more quickly than did mine. Never before that night had I felt the extent of my own powers, of my sagacity. I could scarcely contain my feelings of triumph. To think that there I was opening the door little by little, and he not even to dream of my secret deeds or thoughts. I fairly chuckled at the idea, and perhaps he heard me, for he moved on the bed suddenly as if startled. Now you may think that I drew back -- but no. His room was as black as pitch with the thick darkness (for the shutters were close fastened through fear of robbers), and so I knew that he could not see the opening of the door, and I kept pushing it on steadily, steadily.

I had my head in, and was about to open the lantern, when my thumb slipped upon the tin fastening , and the old man sprang up in the bed, crying out, "Who's there?"

I kept quite still and said nothing. For a whole hour I did not move a muscle, and in the meantime I did not hear him lie down. He was still sitting up in the bed, listening; just as I have done night after night hearkening to the death watches in the wall.

Presently, I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief -- oh, no! It was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept, it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me. I say I knew it well. I knew what the old man felt, and pitied him although I chuckled at heart. I knew that he had been lying awake ever since the first slight noise when he had turned in the bed. His fears had been ever since growing upon him. He had been trying to fancy them causeless, but could not. He had been saying to himself, "It is nothing but the wind in the chimney, it is only a mouse crossing the floor," or, "It is merely a cricket which has made a single chirp." Yes he has been trying to comfort himself with these suppositions ; but he had found all in vain. ALL IN VAIN, because Death in approaching him had stalked with his black shadow before him and enveloped the victim. And it was the mournful influence of the unperceived shadow that caused him to feel, although he neither saw nor heard, to feel the presence of my head within the room.

When I had waited a long time very patiently without hearing him lie down, I resolved to open a little -- a very, very little crevice in the lantern. So I opened it -- you cannot imagine how stealthily, stealthily -- until at length a single dim ray like the thread of the spider shot out from the crevice and fell upon the vulture eye.

It was open, wide, wide open, and I grew furious as I gazed upon it. I saw it with perfect distinctness -- all a dull blue with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones, but I could see nothing else of the old man's face or person, for I had directed the ray as if by instinct precisely upon the damned spot.

And now have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the senses? now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well too. It was the beating of the old man's heart. It increased my fury as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage.

But even yet I refrained and kept still. I scarcely breathed. I held the lantern motionless. I tried how steadily I could maintain the ray upon the eye. Meantime the hellish tattoo of the heart increased. It grew quicker and quicker, and louder and louder, every instant. The old man's terror must have been extreme! It grew louder, I say, louder every moment! -- do you mark me well? I have told you that I am nervous: so I am. And now at the dead hour of the night, amid the dreadful silence of that old house, so strange a noise as this excited me to uncontrollable terror. Yet, for some minutes longer I refrained and stood still. But the beating grew louder, louder! I thought the heart must burst. And now a new anxiety seized me -- the sound would be heard by a neighbour! The old man's hour had come! With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room. He shrieked once -- once only. In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him. I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done. But for many minutes the heart beat on with a muffled sound. This, however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the wall. At length it ceased. The old man was dead. I removed the bed and examined the corpse. Yes, he was stone, stone dead. I placed my hand upon the heart and held it there many minutes. There was no pulsation. He was stone dead. His eye would trouble me no more.

If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence.

I took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. I then replaced the boards so cleverly so cunningly, that no human eye -- not even his -- could have detected anything wrong. There was nothing to wash out -- no stain of any kind -- no blood-spot whatever. I had been too wary for that.

When I had made an end of these labours, it was four o'clock -- still dark as midnight. As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door. I went down to open it with a light heart, -- for what had I now to fear? There entered three men, who introduced themselves, with perfect suavity, as officers of the police. A shriek had been heard by a neighbour during the night; suspicion of foul play had been aroused; information had been lodged at the police office, and they (the officers) had been deputed to search the premises.

I smiled, -- for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome. The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream. The old man, I mentioned, was absent in the country. I took my visitors all over the house. I bade them search -- search well. I led them, at length, to his chamber. I showed them his treasures, secure, undisturbed. In the enthusiasm of my confidence, I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest from their fatigues, while I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim.

The officers were satisfied. My MANNER had convinced them. I was singularly at ease. They sat and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things. But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears; but still they sat, and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct : I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definitiveness -- until, at length, I found that the noise was NOT within my ears.

No doubt I now grew VERY pale; but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased -- and what could I do? It was A LOW, DULL, QUICK SOUND -- MUCH SUCH A SOUND AS A WATCH MAKES WHEN ENVELOPED IN COTTON. I gasped for breath, and yet the officers heard it not. I talked more quickly, more vehemently but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. Why WOULD they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men, but the noise steadily increased. O God! what COULD I do? I foamed -- I raved -- I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder -- louder -- louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly , and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! -- no, no? They heard! -- they suspected! -- they KNEW! -- they were making a mockery of my horror! -- this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! -- and now -- again -- hark! louder! louder! louder! LOUDER! --

"Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! -- tear up the planks! -- here, here! -- it is the beating of his hideous heart!"

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