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Ap lit sample essays

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When he and Horatio come upon her funeral and he realizes she has killed herself, he understands the reasoning must be due to Polonius' death, possibly coupled with how he'd been treating her. And Hamlet knows better than anyone that, without his grudge against Claudius and need to put on his "antic disposition," none of this would have happened. This drives Hamlet to reveal himself to the gathering, jump down into the grave with Laertes, and begin a fight with him.

It is possible this is simply a continuation of his act, but this could also be a moment of true emotion and hysteria overtaking him. He knows his actions drove Ophelia to her grave. He also knows Claudius is the reason behind all his actions. Hamlet's poor relationship with his mother is also a cause of issues for him.

He has already lost his respect for his mother because of her remarrying so quickly after his father's death, and because she married his father's brother. Even as the play begins, Hamlet is depressed, and it's primarily based on his mother's actions and what they've done to his relationship with her. This relationship with his mother, then, helps him carry out his plan after meeting the ghost.

Everyone has already seen a drastic change in his behavior and demeanor, so the "crazy" act he puts on seems like a logical progression. If it had come out of nowhere, it might have been harder for anyone to buy into. Hamlet's madness, whether entirely an act or a combination of performance meeting reality, is a result of his relationships with Gertrude and Claudius. And though Ophelia would probably blame Hamlet for her condition, it's clear her madness also finds its roots in the toxic state of affairs between Hamlet and his parents.

There's no escaping madness throughout the play, and all examples of it are rooted in that relationship. Hamlet's relationship with Claudius is center stage again in this essay. Most of the persuasive analysis about the theme of madness comes from this area, with just a little bit of help provided by his disgust with Gertrude.

No doubt this essay is still plenty insightful when it discusses the reasons for Ophelia's transformation from dutiful daughter to raving crackpot. But there's a bit less evidence from the text and sophisticated language in this essay than in the nine-pointer. A central theme in Hamlet is madness, which is demonstrated through both Hamlet and Ophelia. Hamlet's madness is primarily an act to help him gain vengeance for his father, although it's possible it becomes real at a few key moments.

Meanwhile, Ophelia's madness is definitely real. In either case, this madness can be traced back to Hamlet's relationships with Gertrude and Claudius. Early in the play, she seems fine. She's a good daughter to Polonius and does what he says, even though it hurts her to make Hamlet upset. Following her father's death, though, she cracks. She's nothing like what she was earlier, singing and talking nonsense. Later, we find out she has committed suicide. This is a drastic change from what she's like in the beginning.

And while this change is because of what Hamlet does, it goes deeper than that. Everything that causes her madness stems from Hamlet's relationship with Claudius, and his desire for revenge. It doesn't even matter to him that he hurts Ophelia in the process of his revenge. He purposely uses her, the woman he loves, as his primary way of putting on his act of madness. He treats her poorly to show everyone around him how crazy he's become, all to help him fulfill his plans for revenge.

Hamlet's abusive treatment of Ophelia, along with his murder of her father, drives her to madness. He commits this murder in a fit of rage, but he believes it's Claudius he's killing, not Polonius. Polonius' interference puts him in the wrong place at the wrong time, right when Hamlet might be demonstrating genuine madness himself.

Hamlet might have also legitimately been mad with grief at Ophelia's funeral. When Hamlet discovers she has killed herself, he realizes his actions must have caused this. And he knows that, without his grudge against Claudius and need to act crazy, she would still be alive.

It is possible this is simply a continuation of his act, or it might be something more. Hamlet's relationship with Gertrude also plays a part in the theme of madness in the play. Even before knowing the truth of his father's murder, Hamlet has lost his respect for his mother because he feels she's disrespected his father by remarrying so quickly after his father's death, and by marrying his father's brother. This is why Hamlet is depressed at the start of the play.

Considering how he has changed because of his depression, the "crazy" act he puts on seems like a logical progression. All the madness displayed in this play has its roots in Hamlet's relationships with Claudius and Gertrude. The toxic nature of those relationships causes him to act crazy, possibly to really be crazy at a few points in time, and causes the actions that instigate Ophelia's madness.

This essay gives "reasonable analysis," as the College Board would put it, of Hamlet's scheme, how it causes Ophelia's mental breakdown, and how it all stems from the toxic fumes of his relationships with Claudius and Gertrude. The analysis isn't as thorough or perceptive as the highest scored essays, though.

For example, when Hamlet and Laertes duke it out in the graveyard like the Undertaker and Kane, there's only a passing mention of the fact that Hamlet might not be acting anymore. Madness plays a crucial role in William Shakespeare's Hamlet. Hamlet himself has toxic relationships with his mother, Queen Gertrude, and his uncle, King Claudius.

These relationships instigate a great deal of the madness in the play, from both Hamlet and Ophelia. Ophelia is the character who demonstrates genuine madness. Late in the play, she seems to lose her mind. She speaks a lot of nonsense to the king and queen, and shortly later, we find out that she's dead of an apparent suicide. It seems as if her father's murder at Hamlet's hands is the cause of her madness. But, looking deeper, Hamlet only kills Polonius accidentally, when he thinks he's killing Claudius.

So it's still Hamlet's terrible relationship with Claudius, and his desire for revenge, that really causes Ophelia's madness. The reason Hamlet's relationship with Claudius is so toxic is two-fold. The main reason forms when the ghost of Hamlet's father shows up and tells him that Claudius actually killed him. This is what causes Hamlet to act crazy. He's beside himself with anger and grief, but he still feels he needs to determine if the ghost is telling the truth.

He thinks that by acting as if he's lost his mind, he'll be able to investigate what the ghost has told him, and probably carry out vengeance against Claudius, as well. Even before the ghost showed up, though, Hamlet's relationship with Claudius was also strained because of Hamlet's depression. Hamlet already hated that Gertrude remarried so quickly.

And it's worse that she remarried Claudius, since he was the king's brother. Claudius doesn't like the way Hamlet was acting so down in the dumps, or the way he continually makes nasty remarks toward Gertrude. But once Hamlet really starts acting crazy and putting on this show to investigate, Claudius actually tries to have him killed.

He seems to see through the act more than everyone else, who all think Hamlet is only acting this way because Ophelia rejected him. Hamlet's relationships with Gertrude and Claudius are the determining factor in all the madness in the play. These relationships had already been affected because of Hamlet's grief for his dead father and his perceived lack of respect from his mother. Learning of Claudius' betrayal is too much for him to bear, causing his act of madness, and also indirectly being responsible for Ophelia's madness, as well.

The fall from a 7 score to a 6 score is more apparent than the fall from a 9 to an 8, and maybe even from an 8 to a 7. In this essay, the link between Hamlet's steaming pile of a relationship with Claudius and Gertrude and the play's madness is still explained, but the insight is getting weaker and less thorough.

The discussion's beginning to get a little artificial for everyone's liking here. The student's analysis, or lack thereof, of Ophelia's madness, and the need to look beyond her father's death to understand the real cause, is noticeably short and underdeveloped when compared to the higher scored essays. This essay also fails to examine whether Hamlet might've actually gone a little crazy himself in a couple of instances.

It's just presumed that everything he does is an act, which could be true But really, that's probably giving him too much credit. In Hamlet , by William Shakespeare, the character Hamlet's poor relationships with his mother, Queen Gertrude, and his uncle, King Claudius, show a great deal about his madness, and madness is a major theme in the play.

It's shown early on that Hamlet is unhappy with the fact that his mother remarried so soon after her husband's Hamlet's father's death. The fact that she marries Hamlet's uncle just makes it worse. Hamlet consistently acts childish and makes snide remarks, like when he refers to Claudius as his "uncle-father" and Gertrude as his "aunt-mother.

Even though he goes on to put on a show of madness, it's possible that he actually does go a little mad, and there's no question that Gertrude's actions are a part of that. Hamlet's relationship with Claudius contributes to his madness even more.

He's already upset about this new marriage, which has caused him to lose his respect for his mother. Now, when the ghost of his father shows up and tells him that Claudius actually killed him, this makes things even worse. This is what actually causes Hamlet to act crazy. He thinks that by acting as if he's lost his mind, it will be easier for him to investigate what the ghost has told him, and probably to carry out vengeance against Claudius, as well.

Once Hamlet really starts acting crazy, Claudius goes so far as to try to have him killed. Hamlet's relationships with Gertrude and Claudius have a huge impact on the theme of madness. The changes that occur when you take a young man already grieving over his dead father and his perceived lack of respect from his mother, and combine them with the news of betrayal from another member of his own family, is enough to cause Hamlet to choose to act mad, and maybe even to actually go a little mad.

The difference between a 6 and a 5 is that a 5 is lacking even more in organization, is more simplistic and general in its analysis, and the biggie: it leans on plot summary more than it should. This essay provides an accurate, but relatively one-dimensional, discussion of Hamlet's relationships with Gertrude and Claudius, and how they affect his show of madness.

But the discussion doesn't go deeper than some nicely summarized plot points and it never digs into Ophelia's madness, which is a major part of the theme throughout the play. There is no doubt that a character's relationship with one or more family members or friends in a book or play can have a drastic impact on the story as a whole.

In the play Hamlet , the relationships that Hamlet, the main character, has with Gertrude, Claudius, and Ophelia, are these types of relationships. These relationships affect the theme of madness in the play. Hamlet's relationship with his mother has taken a significant turn for the worse since his father died and she quickly remarried his uncle, the dead king's brother. Hamlet sees this as a betrayal of his father, as if his death didn't even affect Gertrude at all.

He feels it's totally unreasonable for her to have moved on and remarried so quickly. Hamlet's relationship with her, then, becomes testy, as he treats her quite badly for what he thinks are her sins. If Hamlet really goes mad, Gertrude's actions are definitely a part of that. Claudius has an even more direct effect on Hamlet's madness. Hamlet is disgusted enough with him already because he views this new marriage as incestuous. But when the ghost of King Hamlet appears and tells Hamlet that Claudius actually murdered him for the crown, this is what really puts Hamlet on the road toward madness.

It's his desire to avenge his father that causes him to put on a display of madness. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, is Hamlet's relationship with Ophelia. It appears that Hamlet and Ophelia had been in love with one another at some point in time. It's never entirely clear how Hamlet really feels about her as the play progresses. His treatment of her is a major part of his plan, since she's the one who relays information about his behavior back to Polonius and Claudius.

So, their relationship is part of Hamlet's fake madness. But after Hamlet kills Polonius, it manifests real madness. Ophelia truly loses her mind and winds up killing herself. And Hamlet, upon discovering this at her funeral, jumps out of hiding and into her grave, seeming to have gone mad himself, at least momentarily. In conclusion, madness is a major theme throughout the play. Hamlet's relationships with Gertrude and Claudius both cause him to put his plan of demonstrating madness into effect.

And his relationship with Ophelia is not only a major part of that plan, but it also might cause him some real, temporary madness, as well as Ophelia's legitimate fatal madness. It's fairly well-written, but Hamlet's relationships with Gertrude and Claudius are only given a paragraph each, so there's not much going on beyond, "Hamlet's uncle killed his father, so now Hamlet will act crazy.

Plus, instead of discussing Ophelia's madness as a consequence of Hamlet's relationship with Claudius, this student discusses Hamlet's direct relationship with Ophelia. The problem is, Ophelia's not a family member, so not only does this discussion not fit the question, but there are a lot of complexities left unexplained here.

In Hamlet , Hamlet's understanding of family, and his relationship with some of his family members, affects the themes of the whole play. Hamlet's relationship with his mother isn't good anymore. When the play begins, his father, the king, is already dead, and his mother has already remarried Hamlet's uncle. Hamlet doesn't like the fact that she remarried right away.

He thinks this happened way too quickly. Hamlet also thinks that the fact that she married her dead husband's brother is disgusting and wrong. Hamlet's relationship with his uncle, the new king and his new stepfather, also isn't good anymore.

Hamlet doesn't get along with him for all the same reasons he doesn't get along with his mother anymore. But Claudius also became the king, which is supposed to be Hamlet's job in the future. So, Hamlet has even more reason to hate Claudius now. The changes in Hamlet's relationships with his mother and stepfather affect the play's themes pretty drastically.

They show that family is important, but if what the ghost told Hamlet is true, then it's really not everything. Clearly, Gertrude and Claudius valued power more than family when they plotted against the old king. And Hamlet's sanity is also directly impacted by these two relationships. These changes are what cause him to put on an act of madness.

But it's possible that he actually goes a little mad. Some readers read the play that way, and if Hamlet really does go crazy a little bit, it's because of the crimes Gertrude and Claudius committed, and how they affected Hamlet. Hamlet's relationships with Gertrude and Claudius have a huge effect on the whole play. Their evil actions change who Hamlet is as a person and a character. First, save your seat for the 5-hour full course live review happening May 4th!

Fiveable Cram Finales cover every aspect of the exam from content, to question types, and test-taking strategies. Take note of your strengths and weaknesses! Review every unit and question type, and focus on the areas that need the most improvement and practice. This will cover all of the units and essay types to prepare you for your exam. Practice essays are your best friends!

The more essays you write, the more automatic the process will come, and the easier the AP exam will be! Try some of the past exam essays here. Join our Discord channel to talk to real students just like you studying for this exam! We have TAs in each subject channel to support you this Spring.

Before we begin, take some time to get organized. Make sure you have a designated place at home to study. Somewhere you can keep all of your materials, where you can focus on learning, and where you are comfortable. Spend some time prepping the space with everything you need and you can even let others in the family know that this is your study space. Get your notebook, textbook, prep books, or whatever other physical materials you have. Also create a space for you to keep track of review.

Start a new section in your notebook to take notes or start a Google Doc to keep track of your notes. Get yourself set up! The hardest part about studying from home is sticking to a routine. Decide on one hour every day that you can dedicate to studying. This can be any time of the day, whatever works best for you.

Set a timer on your phone for that time and really try to stick to it. The routine will help you stay on track. How will you hold yourself accountable to this study plan? You may or may not have a teacher or rules set up to help you stay on track, so you need to set some for yourself. First set your goal. This could be studying for x number of hours or getting through a unit. Then, create a reward for yourself. If you reach your goal, then x. This will help stay focused! There are thousands of students all over the world who are preparing for their AP exams just like you!

Join our Discord channel to chat, ask questions, and meet other students who are also studying for the spring exams. You can even build study groups and review material together! Unit 1 is the first prose analysis unit, focusing on short fiction. It helps to establish your prose analysis vocabulary, focusing on identifying and describing basic literary elements such as plot, narrator, and setting. This unit also gives the foundations for writing analyses of text, beginning with paragraph structuring and claim defense.

Prose Prompt Deconstruction : An overview of the Prose Analysis prompt and strategies for preparing to respond. What Lit Is : An overview of the course and exam and their expectations. Unit 2 is the first poetry analysis unit, focusing on everyone's favorite figurative language devices -- metaphor and simile.

All of these poetic elements, though, are being analyzed for their function in the poem -- this unit helps you practice looking for why authors make the choices that they do. This unit continues the work of Unit 1 in developing paragraphs that establish a claim and provide evidence to support that claim. Literary Device Review : An overview of some literary devices that you may have forgotten, or an introduction to some new ones that you want in your analysis vocabulary. Defending a Claim : Before practicing your paragraphs, watch this stream for guidance in building a claim from the passage in response to a prompt.

How to Read a Poem : A stream dedicated to developing poetry reading skills, including a useful acronym SIFT for prioritizing important elements of a poem. Annotating for Understanding: This stream guides you through the annotation process, making sure that you are annotating purposefully, and developing your own library of symbols. Poetry Overview : Our Fiveable guide to the poetry analysis question -- what to expect and what you need to do to respond effectively. Theme Statements and Thesis Statements : This stream teaches you how to determine and state a theme, and how to establish a claim to defend for poem analysis.

Here we go with the novels! This unit boils down to paying closer attention to character and plot, with a sprinkling of setting analysis. In terms of composition, this unit starts discussing the development of a thesis statement! So now we can establish a thesis, and then support it with a paragraph or two. Theme Statements and Thesis Statements: This stream distinguishes between these two important statements in a Q3 response, and further discusses thesis statements in general.

Annotating for Analysis, part 2: This stream is more about annotating an exam prompt, and then preparing to respond to it. Characters and Relationships : All about characterization, with terms and tips for understanding the creation of characters and why they matter. Fiveable study guide to the Literary Argument prompt. Outsider Q3 Practice : A Fiveable original prompt for practicing claim-making and claim defense.

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Free-Response Questions Download free-response questions from past exams along with scoring guidelines, sample responses from exam takers, and scoring. Teachers: Explore timing and format for the AP English Literature and Composition Exam. Review sample questions, responses, and scoring guidelines. In no case may a poorly written essay be scored higher than a three (3). These essays offer a persuasive analysis of how the poet portrays the complex.