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Write a position paper in which you agree with one of the following statements and support your opinion using the play The Tempest by William Shakespeare.
Note: To earn full credit you must tell why you agree with one of the statements and you must use the play The Tempest to support your stance.

Select One:

Colonialism is a major theme throughout The Tempest. When Prospero arrives at the island, he proceeds to provide education and care for Caliban. Throughout his exile he struggles to maintain his own cultural identity. Prospero’s actions make him a hero within the play as he helps to bring civilization to the island and its inhabitant.


While Colonialism is a major theme within the play,  Prospero, as the encroaching and domineering culture, is the villain and not the hero. Caliban is the true hero of this play. As representative of the native culture of the island, it is Caliban’s act of throwing off the yoke of oppressive cultural indoctrination that proves he is the hero of this tale of colonial expansionism.


State whether you agree or disagree with the statement as you have interpreted it
Use the play The Tempest.
Specify title, author, date
Use references to literary elements (theme, characterization, structure, language, point of view, etc.) to show how the work supports your opinion
Organize your ideas in a unified and coherent manner (you need an introduction with a thesis, body, conclusion, and a unique title).
Follow the conventions of standard written English
Use no less than 2 quotations and 1 paraphrase, properly cited in MLA
Minimum of 300 words. Responses of less than 200 words will not earn a grade.

Citing a Play in MLA Style:
Play In-text (parenthetical) Citations:

If we are writing a paper that refers to more than one work, we will use the play name in our citation rather than the author. If we are writing about one play then we would replace the play title in the parenthetical citation for the author’s last name.

Author: Shakespeare

Italicize play titles: The Tempest (Tmp.)

After we introduce the full play title and it’s abbreviation in parentheses, we can use the abbreviation to refer to the play in the rest of our paper.

If referring to an act and scene of a play in the body of your text, format it as such: In 2.2, Hamlet’s despondency becomes the subject of mockery amongst his peers.

If we are only referring to one work by Shakespeare in our paper than our parenthetical citation would look like this: (Shakespeare 3.2.115)

If we are referring to more than one work by Shakespeare in our paper, after we introduce our play Hamlet (Ham.)…, our first parenthetical citation will look like this: (Ham. 3.2.115)

If we have not  yet introduced the play in the body of our paper, the first parenthetical citation will look like this: (Hamlet 3.2.115)

Quoting Verse and Prose:

Many of Shakespeare’s plays are in a combination of verse and prose. The lesser characters often are written in prose, while the primary characters are usually written in verse. There are different rules for formatting verse and prose.

For quoting both verse and prose remember to always introduce the scene or character who is speaking. I will not be including those transitions prior to my quotations here, but that does not mean we don’t need them in our papers.

If quoting three lines or less of verse use the short quotation format and use a / to indicate line breaks. Keep all original punctuation and incorporate it into the text of your paper.

If quoting four lines or more of verse break the lines as they are shown in the text of the play. Do not use / to indicate line breaks. Keep all original punctuation and format as a block quote.

If you would like to quote verse or prose, but want to leave out parts of a sentence or phrase, simply use ellipses to mark the left out text: “Heaven make me free of it! I follow thee / …Wretched queen, adieu!”

Play Quotations (short verse):

For quotations that refer to one character and are under four lines of verse, we can use “Quotation Marks.” The citation will come between the last quotation mark and the period.

We will want to use slashes / to indicate line breaks.

“Doomed for a certain term to walk the night, / And for the day confined to fast in fires, / Til the foul crime done in my days of nature”

(Shakespeare 1.5.10-13).

Of course we would use (Hamlet 1.5.10) depending on the number of works by Shakespeare being referred to in our paper. For instance if we were comparing his tragedies and comedies and relying on several different works for source material, we would want to follow the MLA citation rule for citing several works by one author.

Play Quotations (short prose):

“Happily he is the second time to come to them, for they say an old man is twice a child” (Shakespeare 2.2.354-55)

Play Quotations (long verse):

For quotations that refer to one character and are longer than three lines of verse or four lines of prose we will want to double indent (1″ or two taps of the tab key) and create a block quote.

We will not use quotation marks or italicize the quote, the indentation will be indication enough:

He took me by the wrist, and held me hard,

Then goes he to the length of all his arm,

And with his other hand thus o’er his brow,

He falls to such perusal of my face

As  ‘a would draw it. Long stayed he so.

At last, a little shaking mine arm,

And thrice his head thus waving up and down,

He raised a sigh so piteous and profound

As it did seem to shatter all his bulk,

And end his being. (Shakespeare 2.1.86-95)

Notice that the parenthetical citation comes after the period in a long quote and that there is not a period after the citation.

Play Quotations (long prose):

We still will not use quotation marks or italicize the quote, however, we will not worry about line breaks and only take into account the double indentation and citation style.

Here lies the water; good. Here stands the man;

good. If the man go to this water and drowns himself,

it is,will he, nill he, he goes–mark you that. But if the

water come to him and drown him, he drowns not

himself. Argal, he that is not guilty of his own

death shortens not his own life. (Shakespeare 5.1.13-15)

Play Quotations (dialogue between two or more characters):

Double indent the names of the characters.

Capitalize each letter in the name of the character.

Indent the text of the quote one quarter inch further than we indent the character’s name.

Keep original formatting and punctuation.

HAMLET. Then is doomsday near. But your news is not

true. Let me question more in particular. What have you,

my good friends, deserved at the hands of Fortune,

that she sends you to prison hither?

GUILDENSTERN. Prison, my lord?

HAMLET. Denmark’s a prison.

ROSENCRANTZ. Then is the world one. (2.2.231-37)

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