Comparison EssayThis is an example of a Comparison Essay written by a highschool senior.  The assignment was to compare or contrast two entirely different things.  He choose an interesting twist on the assignment.  Notice that he used several sentence fragments for emphasis.  It is a perfectly acceptable rhetorical tool to create tone.  


Ask any English literature student from anywhere in the world, “Who is the most influential writer in the history of literature?”  The answer will likely be, “William Shakespeare.” The reason is simple.  Shakespeare wrote the most analyzed and produced plays in the world. The bard is still studied in classroom after classroom.

It is hard to imagine that this was not always the case. In fact, when he was alive, his plays were often criticized by his audience.  And the audience could be vocal and rude. Today, people find that watching a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is enjoyable and relaxing.  But the theatre was a very different place in 1605. Sets were rarely changed because moving props was cumbersome and doing so would have taken too much time during the performance. Productions are more lavish today, of course, because the early sets just did not have the technology to change sets quickly and efficiently between acts. Imagine the magic of Shakespeare that the people of the 16th and early 17th Centuries could have enjoyed if they had had castors!  Adds a little humor to the whole idea. [Student set up the comparison in a surprising fashion.]

Castors are essentially those little wheels that are attached to movable stage units used as trolleys, roll cages and equipment boxes. They can also be placed on items of furniture, such as chairs, benches and sofas, chests, even landscaped items for the stage. Okay, so Shakespeare was never lucky enough to sit on a Lazy Boy lounger either, but imagine how using castors in the theatre could have enhanced the experience.  Might have ensured a less hostile audience at times.  Maybe he could have been a legend in his own time!  Catchy little song: Shakespeare’s Globe on Castors.

Castors could have been attached to all sorts of elements in the theatre to better the production.  Boxes of costumes and props could have been brought right on the stage.  Huge canvases rolled in to provide diverse backdrops throughout the production:  buildings, interiors and even forests. Imagine the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet with backgrounds that didn’t have to be imagined.  Thanks to castors.  It would have blown the audience’s mind! In fact, castors could have expanded the audience, allowing the troupe to perform a little further down the river. In short, Shakespeare would have seriously benefitted from the use of the small but sturdy industrial wheels in a number of ways.  So would his appreciative audience. Still, his loss is certainly our gain today!


Miss McCulla is a retired English teacher of 32 years.  She has mastery of the grammar and mechanics of English, and has taught expository composition, fiction writing, poetry, and rhetorical skills to thousands of students and aspiring writers throughout her career.  She has written/edited/self-published five books, and currently manages and edits the writing blog, The Underground Tutor, where she writes/gathers essays, articles, papers, profiles, criticisms, and analyses of literature, just like those asked of students and writers in the university and publishing houses.  Then she passes years of “teacher tips” and “general interest examples” on to interested writers.


March 14, 2019   54   mary    Comparison/Contrast Essay, Help With Student Essays  
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