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Posts by kelseyyes
Joined: Nov 2, 2008
Last Post: Dec 7, 2008
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Dec 6, 2008
Book Reports / Finally, an end has been brought to the reign of Macbeth; Macbeth power struggle [9]

Hi, I had to write an essay about a character that struggles with power throughout the play, Macbeth , so here it is thank you in advance for any comments.

Macbeth's Power Struggle
Two men, haggard from a recent battle they won for their country, ride nonchalantly through the rocky terrain of the mountains of Scotland. Out of the two men, there is one, nobler in appearance and higher in rank. This man is Macbeth, thane of Glamis. As the battle weakened soldiers continue on their trek back home, they hear cackling behind a large mound of boulders. With their interests peaked, they stealthily move towards the rocks, not knowing what to expect behind them. Crouching, they observe three witches, none of which have a hint of amiability or beauty. Macbeth arches his eyebrow at his companion, Banquo, and listens to the witches banter. After listening to the insane jabbering of the three hags, Macbeth stands erect and saunters to their hiding place. The pungent stench of burning flesh and boiling blood accosts his nostrils, as he approaches the witches at their brew, making him feel nauseas. His now heavy footfalls disturb the sorcerous women, and they look up to see Macbeth, closely followed by the loyal Banquo. Before speaking, they glance at each other, then look back at Macbeth, each flashing him a gap-toothed grin, "All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of Glamis," one croaks earily. "All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of Cawdor," another cries out. "All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter," the third and final hag moans (1.3.-.). Macbeth, after hearing these potent prophecies, stands ruminating the power that he would wield if he were to become king.

In the play, Macbeth, by William Shakespeare many characters are seduced by the thought of gaining power. However, none more so than the lead character, Macbeth. Throughout the entire play, Macbeth's actions are controlled by either his quest to gain more power or the power that his wife, Lady Macbeth, holds over him. As the play begins, Macbeth is already a man of power, as he is the thane of Glamis. Then, almost immediately after hearing the predictions of the three weird sisters he receives more power by being awarded a new title, thane of Cawdor. Although Macbeth is a powerful man, there is a more powerful entity ruling over him.

Lady Macbeth, on the outside, appears to be the ideal subservient wife expected of the eleventh century. However, she proves to wield a great deal of power over her husband. When she learns of the predictions of the hag's, she immediately goes to work on figuring out how to get her husband into the throne of power. "Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be what thou art promised: yet do I fear thy nature; it is too full o' the milk of human kindness," Lady Macbeth speaks this to herself after receiving the letter from Macbeth, informing her of his possible gaining of the throne (1.5.-.). When she says this, she fears that her husband is too kind to do what is necessary to become king, which would be to murder the current king. She manipulates her power over him by telling him he would not be a man if he did not commit the act of murdering King Duncan, "When you durst do it, then you were a man; and, to be more than what you were, you would be so much more the man" (1.7.-.). It is, in part, due to Lady Macbeth's influence, that Macbeth becomes obsessed with ascending the throne.

Macbeth becomes fixated on mounting the throne in place of King Duncan. However, just recently, Macbeth has been awarded the title of thane of Cawdor by the king. Although happy with the new title and new power, Macbeth still thirsts for the powers held by the king. When Malcolm receives the title of Prince of Cumberland, the next step to being king, Macbeth is enveloped in a rage and takes for granted his own new title. Eyes green with envy, Macbeth tell himself, "Stars, hid your fires; let not light see my black and deep desires" (1.5.-.). Macbeth knows that he can not allow Duncan to see his ambition for the power of the throne, or Duncan will find a way to hinder him from doing so. After Malcolm is named Prince of Cumberland, Macbeth's hunger for the throne only becomes stronger. Employing her power over her husband, Lady Macbeth convinces him to kill King Duncan in order to obtain the throne Though Macbeth pines for the throne, he understands that he can not rightly justify his actions, "I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition" (1.7.-.). Nonetheless, Macbeth goes through with the murder. Soon, Duncan's body is found and his two sons flee the country, leaving Macbeth the successor to the throne. At last, he has acquired the powers of the king. However, to keep his power, Macbeth must fight for it.

"...Where we are there's daggers in men's smiles..." (2.4.-.). When Donalbain says this to his brother, Malcolm, he is referring to the fact that men will smile to another man's face, but then, turn around and kill him if he finds it the least bit convenient. This is what happens to the unsuspecting Banquo. After Macbeth has taken the throne he begins to fear that Banquo might do something to jeopardize his regime. "He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valour to act in safety. There is none but he whose being I do fear: and under him my genius is rebuked, as it is said, mark Antony's was by Caesar" (3.1.-.) In act three, scene one, Macbeth begins to fear Banquo's knowledge of the predictions made by the witches. He knows that Banquo suspects that he has attained the throne by foul play, and Macbeth worries that Banquo may expose him. However, this is not the only reason that Banquo may be a threat to Macbeth's recently acquired power. During the same time that Macbeth was informed of his impending kingship, Banquo was enlightened that he would produce a line of kings. To Macbeth, this means that Banquo's posterity will remove him from the throne. So, in order to keep his new found power, Macbeth hires murderers to kill Banquo and his son, Fleance. In spite of Banquo being killed, Macbeth still loses his power.

By abusing his power over others, Macbeth becomes a hated king. Not only is it due to his cruelty when exercising powers, but also the suspicions of many that he has killed Duncan, that many nobles refuse to fight for him, and his power is thus greatly depleted. An army begins to amass against Macbeth, and he knows that he will soon be defeated for, "...Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill shall come against him" (4.1.-.). Although he is convinced that his power is about to be wrenched from him, he still holds hope, as he knows no man that was not born of woman. However, as Macduff fights the tyrant he reveals to him that, "...Macduff was from his mother's womb untimely ripp'd" (5.8.-.). Macbeth is now certain that his tyrannical reign is finished, and the two men continue to fight to the death. Macduff returns, wielding the decapitated head of the former king, Macbeth, and exclaims to Malcolm, "Hail, king! For so thou art: behold, where stands the usurper's cursed head..."(5.8.-.). In this way, Macbeth's power was taken from him.

In final consideration, Macbeth was an individual with which power was a very important ideal. He was not only ruled by the power of his wife, but he also quested for the power of the king. His power hunger drove him to murder his best friend, but in the end he only ended up losing everything, including his power. Without Macbeth's thirst for power, the play would not have been able progress as the entire play centers around the rise and fall of Macbeth's power.

In a final attempt to save his life, the battered and bloodied Macbeth tries to reason with Macduff. He tells him of all his ambitions and of how his wife held tremendous sway over his actions. With sweat dripping down his brow, he asks Macduff if he wouldn't have done the same things if he were in the same position. Macduff gives his opponent a disgusted snarl. Macduff looks at the crest fallen king, and finds it hard to suppress a chuckle as the king snivels and cowers in fear. Then, before he can feel a pang of remorse, he lifts his sword, swings, and cleanly cuts of King Macbeth's head. He smiles. Finally, an end has been brought to the reign of Macbeth.
Nov 30, 2008
Writing Feedback / foil essay on Wuthering Heights [4]

Thanks. My teacher actually didn't want us to use quotes because we are trying to write essays as close to the format we would be using during the ap exam which we won't be able to use the books to take quotes from. I know, I was dying to put a quote in. Thanks again.
Nov 29, 2008
Writing Feedback / foil essay on Wuthering Heights [4]

Standing in front of a mirror, Edgar Linton sees someone staring back at him that is not himself. He walks closer and puts his hand to the glass. Instead of seeing his angelic features, he sees a man that appears to be the human embodiment of the devil. The man staring back at him is Heathcliff. In the novel, Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, Heathcliff and Edgar Linton are foils of each other. These characters contrast each other marvelously. These two characters could not be more different from each other; from their looks, to their actions, to their social standing, their love for Catherine, and even their treatment of the children in the novel. Their looks are the first characteristics to set them apart.

Many times an author will describe a character to reflect upon his or her personality. This reigns true in Wuthering Heights. Edgar Linton is an extremely handsome man. He is fair skinned and light haired with blue eyes. He is rather effeminate and delicate. Edgar's appearance gives the reader the feeling that he is a good character. However, in stark contrast is Heathcliff, with whom Edgar is the foil of. Heathcliff is a dark and imposing character. With dark eyes, tanned skin, and obsidian black hair, his visage is extremely rough and wild looking. Heathcliff's appearance causes him to be perceived as an evil character, which, in fact, he turns out to be. Heathcliff and Edgar could not be further from each other in appearance. Not only are these characters different in their appearance, they are also diverse in their actions.

Appearances may be able to give first impressions of a character, but his actions are what cement his nature. Heathcliff and Edgar were different from each other even as children. Heathcliff was an independent young boy and was rather rough in his daily activities. Although this boy was independent, he spent copious amounts of time with Catherine. Due to the fact that he always put Catherine first, even before himself, he could be considered extremely selfless as a boy. Edgar, on the other hand, was a pouty young child. Unlike Heathcliff, Edgar was considerably selfish and even hurt a puppy when fighting over it with his sister. As a child Edgar would also cry a great deal. As these two characters matured, their actions and personalities altered. Heathcliff became selfish and vengeful for all the mistreatments that he had received in his childhood. He treated everyone with cruelty and spite. Although he changed, he still remained rough and crude as he had been in his childhood. His foil, Edgar, on the other hand, changed for the better. Edgar grew up and was no longer the selfish whiny child he had been. He was civilized and treated people fairly. Edgar tried to keep everyone happy, although he became a coward, which was shown when Heathcliff proposed a fight between the two enemies. Heathcliff and Edgar also differ in their social standings.

Heathcliff and Edgar both come from very different family backgrounds, which accounts for how the events in the novel played out the way they did. Edgar is a gentleman. He was raised to be a gentleman from a family of high social standing. He has impeccable manners and is well-liked by almost everyone, which is why Catherine chooses to marry him over her love, Heathcliff. Heathcliff was an orphan, brought home by Mr. Earnshaw from one of his travels away from home. Heathcliff was treated as a servant by Mr. Earnshaw's son, Hindley. Later in his life, Heathcliff becomes rich, but it is through questionable means that he attains his wealth. Heatchliff, unlike Edgar, is not well-liked and generally hated by almost everyone that he meets throughout the novel. Despite their differences, these two men both fall for the same woman, Catherine Earnshaw.

Although both men fall for the lovely Catherine, even the ways that they love her are different. Heathcliff has an obsessive love with Catherine. He is fiercely passionate about her and his ardent love is returned by her. When Catherine dies, Heathcliff goes insane. He goes as far as to call to her spirit to return to Earth to haunt him for the rest of his life. Edgar, on the other hand, has a more natural and demure love for Catherine. Sadly, she only marries him for his social standing, not for love. When Catherine dies, Edgar mourns her, and he proceeds to mourn her on the anniversary of her death every year, but he does not go as far as to torment himself with her spirit. Catherine died, in part, due to child birth. The child Catherine and her lover Linton, were treated differently by the two foils.

Edgar loved young Catherine, as she was his only child. He treated her as a princess and spent much time with her. Edgar also tried to aide Linton, his nephew, after his mother died. However, Heathcliff found out that Linton was being helped at Thrushcross Grange and took custody of him. Edgar, when he found out about the love between young Catherine and Linton, feared a union between the two youths. He knew that Linton was sickly, and he didn't want Heathcliff to be able to take possession of Catherine's property. Heathcliff, in contrast to Edgar, despised both Catherine and Linton. He despised young Catherine, blaming her for his Catherine's death, and found further abhorrence in young Catherine's familiar and haunting eyes. Young Catherine and his son Linton's resemblance to Heathcliff's sworn enemy, Edgar, only fueled his rage for the two young lovers. Heathcliff, however, desired a marriage between the young lovers. This was not because he wanted to see them happy, but because of the prospect of taking young Catherine's property from her when Linton died.

In final consideration, Heathcliff and Edgar create stark contrasts in the novel. Both of these men, with their love for Catherine Earnshaw, sustain the novel's plot. These characters could not be more different from each other. Their looks, actions, social standing, love for Catherine, and treatment of young Catherine and Linton, set them worlds apart.

On the other side of the mirror, Heathcliff stares maliciously at the man he knows is Edgar Linton. The man that is so different from him, the man that he hates is so close and yet so far. Heathcliff reaches out to touch the glass but instead feels the soft warmness of skin. His hand clenches around the other mans fingers and he pulls him into his side of the mirror. The two men stare in disbelief at each other, noticing their differences and wondering what to do next.
Nov 5, 2008
Undergraduate / My Mom is the Most Influential Person - college application to UCONN [NEW]

Hi all,
This essay is for my college application to UCONN. It is not quite finished yet but I wanted to know if it seemed like I was going in the right direction with it. The prompt is: Describe a person or event that has had a profound effect upon your life.

Throughout my life I have been influenced by thousands of things; from music, to novels, to movies, and game shows. All these things lead back to influential people in my life, like my grandparents, my friends, my aunts and uncles, my father, and even my brother. However, my mom is by far the most influential person in my life.

At a young age my mom instilled in me a love for reading. When I was little she used to come into my room and read me chapters of novels like Stuart Little and The Trumpet of the Swan. As I grew older she nurtured my love of reading by constantly providing me with more and more challenging material to read.

My mom is not just an influential person to me; she is an inspiring human being. This amazing woman has combated with cancer all over her body and has bounced back every time after her treatments. My mom also recently conquered her battle with her weight, which she has been fighting since she was younger than me. Not only has my mother overcome these obstacles but she still maintains a job that she is constantly working. At her job she provides for mentally and physically handicapped citizens. While this job is taxing on her, she almost always accepts the call for overtime just so she can make sure her family can live comfortably. These feats are performed by my mom with a grace and poise that I one day aspire to have.

Despite all the rough times my mom has encountered she is still able to, "suck the marrow out of life." This amazing role model not only lives life but fully embraces it. Just one example of this is when she conquered her fear of heights by sky diving out of an airplane hundreds of feet off of the ground. She has influenced my life by teaching me to experience the world, not just merely live in it.

Thank-you for reading, and any advice on how to make this better would be greatly appreciated.