2 What good commentary does… Analyzes the previous Concrete Detail (quote) with a fresh and insightful interpretation. (your highly intellectualized opinion!) This is what you did in the last part of your Quote Adventure.Remember Formatting! Your body paragraph begins with a Topic Sentence which creates focus, and then moves into your Concrete detail (quote), and is followed by two pieces of good commentary. You may also weave in commentary with your lead-in (lead-out) if you feel comfortable doing so.TS, CD, CM, CM, CD, CM, CM, CS
3 But when you are analyzing text, there is no first person allowed. Ways to generate commentary when analyzing text:Consider the author’s diction. Why does he or she use this word/phrase? Does the word/phrase have a special connotation? Is it a charged word/phrase? How does this choice of word/phrase precisely reflect the author’s message?What is not stated in the corresponding quote or paraphrased example, but is rather implied?Connect to literary terms (aspects AND features) whenever possible. Consider how one event foreshadows another, or how a metaphor’s meaning is particularly relevant to the message the author is conveying.Analyze cause and effect relationships when it appropriately relates to your thesis.Don’t just analyze what characters say; analyze how they interact with each other.
4 Ways to generate commentary when analyzing text (cont.): Address the author’s message. He or she wrote the text for a reason – what is that reason?How will the reader/intended audience likely feel or react to the quote/ paraphrased example? (Be careful here – don’t speculate too much).Is there any evidence in the text to counter what is explained in the concrete detail?All concrete details in the same paragraph should support the same topic sentence, but they should not be interchangeable, or your commentary will grow stale quickly. That is to say, there should be a progression of ideas within each paragraph as well as the essay as a whole in order to keep moving forward toward the next level of insight.
5 What good commentary looks like… Transition Lead-InConcrete Detail (Quote): In addition, Lady Macbeth questions Macbeth’s manliness, exclaiming, “When you durst do it, then you were a man” ( ).QuoteCM #1: Lady Macbeth associates evilness and brutality with manliness, inferring that Macbeth is only a man if he is decisive about killing King Duncan.Offers analysis of previous quoteCM #2: By attacking his ego, Lady Macbeth forces Macbeth to feel like he must commit the crime in order to prove that he is a “man” and ultimately worthy of her.Offers further analysis of quote/ connects back to main sentiment of thesisCS: This psychological threatening, therefore, becomes a predominant influence leading to Macbeth’s downfall.CS Offers a closing statement for the paragraph that isn’t merely repetitive
6 What bad commentary does…. Repeats the CD (quote)Offers obscure or unclear analysisUses clichés such as: Macbeth keeps secrets from Lady Macbeth and everyone knows that secrets don’t make friends.Gives plot summary instead of analysisIs repetitive and vague because you don’t really know what you are talking about.You Try! Play Bad Commentary Match-Up on your own sheet of paper.
7 What bad commentary looks like… Concrete Detail (Quote): In addition, Lady Macbeth questions Macbeth’s manliness, exclaiming, “When you durst do it, then you were a man” ( ).CM #1: Lady Macbeth then goes on to tell Macbeth that she would rather have her own baby’s brains smashed in, rather than give up on her ambition, but in Act two she isn’t up to the task of killing Duncan because he looks too much like her father.Plot Summary/Unnecessary informationCM #2: Lady Macbeth doesn’t think that Macbeth is a man.Repeats the CD/Doesn’t offer anything fresh or insightfulCM #4: Lady Macbeth doesn’t think Macbeth is a man, because he acts unmanly all of the time.Repetitive/Sounds like you don’t really understand the literatureCM #3: Lady Macbeth urges Macbeth to essentially “wear the pants in the family” and do what needs to be done.Relies on a cliché instead of formulating your own opinion
8 Good Commentary“and you all know security is mortal’s chiefest enemy” ( ).“It will have blood, they say; blood will have blood” ( ).“Tis ‘ safer to be that which we destroy / than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy” ( ).