Tutor profile: Robert S.
I'm working on a paper, and I'm having trouble with my concluding paragraph. Do you have any tips for writing conclusions?
Conclusions can be one of the toughest parts of a paper to write. One technique that I recommend is to ask yourself "so what?" at the end of a paper. A common way to write a conclusion is to summarize what you've already written, and while that can be helpful to tie everything you've written together, asking "so what?" takes your conclusion a step further. What this means is to look at the analysis or argument that you've put forward so far, and then ask yourself what the further implications of your analysis might be. For example, if you've written a paper focused on the repeated imagery of eyes and blindness and "King Lear", your conclusion may point to what this repeated imagery implies about the play as a whole. Ultimately, asking yourself "so what?" can both provide a strong closing to your paper and deepen your analysis.
I'm writing an essay on the play "Oedipus Rex", and in my research, I read that Oedipus displays hubris. What does hubris mean, and do you think it applies to Oedipus?
Good question! Hubris is a concept that is important to understanding Greek tragedy, and can be seen in many other works of literature even now. Hubris, essentially, is overconfidence: particularly in Greek tragedy, the belief that one could defy fate or the gods by sheer will. Since Oedipus believed he could escape a divine prophecy, he certainly exhibited hubris and was punished for it. Hubris is also an example of a fatal flaw, or "hamartia": a single quality that leads to an individual's downfall. The fall of a powerful or "great" individual is central to tragedy (particularly for the Greeks), so one could argue that Oedipus's hubris is ultimately what makes the play a tragedy.
How do you define the literary device synecdoche?
Synecdoche is a literary device where a part is used to represent the whole. For instance, if somebody said "I'm watching Ellen today" when referring to The Ellen DeGeneres Show, this would be an example of synecdoche: they refer to a part (Ellen, the host) to represent the whole (the television show).
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