Close Reading

This Close Reading Essay was my first essay of the class and boy was it daunting. Luckily, we were just instructed to read the Tempest and make an argument based on the characters and their interactions in the play. My confidence with analyzing works of literature was already at a low, so I was lucky to have started with this essay because it was what prepared me for rest of the essays to come in the class.

After reading the The Tempest I needed to think hard about what aspects of the play really interested me enough to analyze and, eventually, create a strong paper. I decided on the repressed sexuality that the character Miranda felt due to her island seclusion for most of her life.  Our in-class discussion helped me provide enough evidence and analysis for my pretty solid idea of how I wanted to go about my claim.

I had an idea that I wanted to work with Miranda’s character, but I was focused on the wrong quote in the text. Once I was directed to the scene most relevant to the claim that Miranda’s feelings were being irrationally displayed due to her sexual repression rooted in a traumatic past experience, I was more on track with my paper. I tried to complete a full draft of my essay before Friday so I could get as much feedback as possible.

Once completing that first draft, Draft 1, I printed it out and scheduled an appointment with Drew so he could help guide my ideas that were already on paper. This proved to be the largest amount of help for my paper because it was realized that vital background information was missing that could really strengthen my claim. Taking his suggestions about linking Caliban’s attempt at raping Miranda throughout my essay to further prove that is where Miranda’s suppression came from completed my argument. I then had my paper looked over by a peer during class time which led me to my Peer Reviewed Draft containing more vital feedback. The in-class peer review session let another pair of eyes see my work and critique the details that I became blind to after working on the paper for so long. I also was able to review my classmate’s work to better understand what the essay was ultimately supposed to look like. This activity also made me feel better about how far behind I felt at that point because my classmates were all in the same boat.

As my drafts show, I made my condensed my quotations and further focused on Miranda and her past with Caliban’s attempt of rape and how that influenced her sexual repression seen in The Tempest. This was the missing information I needed to really drive forth my claim of Miranda was only sure of negative sexual encounters and that affected her eagerness when meeting Ferdinand for the first time.

Through these processes, I created an essay, Draft 2, that I am proud of, but I also strongly believe that it has room for improvement. This was just the beginning of the discovery of my revision process that I developed for the future essays to come.