Ms. Gokturk



Your Task: Write an analytical essay on The Bacchae and Medea using a lens to form  your position.


Write a critical essay in which you discuss two works of literature you have read from the particular perspective of the statement that is provided for you in the Critical Lens.  In your essay, provide a valid interpretation of the statement, agree or disagree with the statement as you have interpreted it, and support your opinion using specific references to appropriate literary elements from the two works.  


Critical Lens Bank (CHOOSE ONE)



Text Box: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.  


Select a quote from one of the plays to use as a lens.


Be sure to

Provide a valid interpretation of the critical lens that clearly establishes the criteria for analysis

• Indicate whether the two texts support  or refute your interpretation.

• Discuss Medea and The Bacchae through your interpretation of the lens.

• Use the criteria suggested by the critical lens to analyze the works you have chosen

• Avoid plot summary. Instead, use specific references to appropriate literary elements (for example: theme, characterization, setting, point of view) to develop your analysis. [TIP: one way to ensure that you are not falling into plot summary is to introduce points in a non-chronological way.]

• Organize your ideas in a unified and coherent manner

• Specify the titles and authors of the literature you choose.  Titles to long works are italicized.

• Follow the conventions of standard written English. Avoid “I” and use formal writing.  Do not use contractions.





Critical Lens

Steps in Writing



  1. Copy
  2. the lens on top of the page.  On the next line, compose a sentence that rewords or interprets the lens.  So not repeat words or use 1st person (I think).
  3. Agree or Disagree: Do not use 1st person; rather, use a transition such as: “this applies to,” “This can be seen” or “This is not the case with.”
  4. Transition/information sentence.  Combine with #2 to present authors, genre (Greek tragedy, novel, memoir), and titles (underlined) of the two works being interpreted in the essay.


BODY PARAGRAPHS: Literary elements

                                                      WORK #1                               Work #2














  1. Compose a sentence to start the paragraph about how Work #1 relates to your interpretation of the critical lens.
  2. Compose a sentence to start the paragraph about Work #2 relates to your interpretation of the critical lens.



Compare similarities and differences in the ways each work of literature/character connect to your interpretation of the lens.












INTRODUCTION  Read your introduction and check off if successfully completed:

                1.        Sentence one: use the critical lens. Indent and don't forget to include quotation marks.

                2.        Sentence two: interpret the critical lens. Write down what it means to you using the third person (i.e. avoid using first person expressions like "I think.")

                3.        Sentence three: convey whether or not you disagree or agree with the critical lens without using the first person (example: "I agree" or "I disagree"). Instead, you may use the following: "This statement is true/untrue." OR "The critical lens is flawed/accurate," etc.

                4.        Sentence four: mention the title and author and genre of the pieces of literature you will be using.

               5.       Mention the literary elements that the author primarily uses to support your opinion regarding the critical lens.

                  6.       Construct a thesis (controlling idea) that presents a point you will prove in the essay.


NOTE: Sentences four and five may be combined.



Read your body paragraph (s) and check off if successfully completed:

                1.        Include the following in your topic sentences: the literary element

the title and author of the text a reference to the critical lens

                2.        Use 2-3 examples from the text that support your opinion.

             3.       Develop your examples; provide specific details.

                4.        Use transitions between each example.

                5.        Make sure that the last sentence in your body paragraph sums up your points.



Read your conclusion and check off is successfully completed

                1.       Mention the title (s) and author (s) of literature used in essay.

                2.       Connect this to the universal truths theme.