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Ap english literature sample essays professional admission paper writer websites for college

Ap english literature sample essays

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This document features general scoring criteria that apply to each of the three free-response questions, regardless of specific question prompt. Free-Response Questions. AP Central. Important Updates. Learn more about testing.

Exam Overview Exam questions assess the course concepts and skills outlined in the course framework. Digital Practice and Testing Information Updated April 8 Digital Practice Now Available Starting April 8, students can try out the test-day experience by answering example questions in the digital testing application. Digital Practice has a shortened multiple-choice section 13 questions, 17 minutes , a shortened break of 5 minutes, and a full-length free-response section 3 questions, 2 hours.

The App Demo is an even shorter subset of the questions in Digital Practice—5 multiple-choice questions, a 2-minute break, and 1 free-response question. Students can use the digital annotation tool to identify key elements within texts, organize their thoughts, and draft brief textual analysis. While the annotations that students construct will not be scored, annotating may help students interpret texts and answer multiple-choice or free-response questions.

Some multiple-choice questions reference a part of the text provided. Students can click on the » symbol shown in the question to automatically scroll to the referenced location. As a reminder, students will answer all multiple-choice questions and type all free-response answers directly in the digital exam application. Scratch paper is permitted for notes or planning, but students cannot handwrite or otherwise upload responses.

Students will see them at the beginning of each section, and can access them at any time during the exam. Please note that the exam timer starts when the directions appear. While students should read the directions, they should be aware that the timer will be running while they do so. Teachers and students can view the full text of the exam and section directions in advance of the exam.

Exam Dates. Exam Format The AP English Literature and Composition Exam has consistent question types, weighting, and scoring guidelines every year, so you and your students know what to expect on exam day. Each set is preceded by a passage of prose fiction, drama, or poetry of varying difficulty.

The multiple-choice section will always include at least 2 prose fiction passages this may include drama and at least 2 poetry passages. In responding to Question 3, students should select a work of fiction that will be appropriate to the question. A general rule is to use a work that is similar in quality to those they have read in their AP class es.

Scoring Rubrics Document. One-Page AP English Literature and Composition Scoring Rubrics This is a simplified version of the longer scoring rubric document, with the decision rules and scoring notes taken out. AP English Literature and Composition Rubrics with Decision Rules and Scoring Notes This document features general scoring criteria that apply to each of the three free-response questions, regardless of specific question prompt. Past Exam Questions and Scoring Information. After seeing Laertes' overblown show of grief, Hamlet makes a similar demonstration.

He pronounces his love for Ophelia, jumps into the grave with Laertes, and they fight. He later claims he was just upset at Laertes' public display of affection, but it appears possible Hamlet is truly overcome at this point when realizing all that has happened.

And again, since Ophelia's death can ultimately be traced back all the way to Hamlet's relationship with Claudius, it's fair to say this is another example of that relationship emphasizing the theme of madness in the play. Despite Claudius being the center of his revenge plot, Hamlet is also greatly affected by his deteriorating relationship with Gertrude. Even before knowing the truth of his father's murder, Hamlet has lost his respect for his mother. 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 the main source of Hamlet's depression at the start of the play. His relationship with his mother, then, makes his plan easier to carry out after meeting the ghost. Considering the change in his demeanor that everyone around the castle has noticed due to his depression, the "crazy" act he puts on seems like a logical progression. Had it been more out of character, more people might have caught on to his act.

The way things have changed with Gertrude also affects Hamlet because he doesn't have that source of comfort he should have from his mother. Considering she's part of the problem, he can't go to her for support, guidance, or comfort when trying to deal with Claudius and make good on his promise of revenge. Their relationship, then, isn't as directly responsible for the different acts of madness as is Hamlet's relationship with Claudius, but it holds some responsibility in terms of its omission from the help it should provide.

It's impossible to know whether Hamlet ever truly descends into madness, or if it never advances beyond his planned performance. Either possibility, though, is influenced most clearly by his relationships with Claudius and Gertrude. And the one definitive example of madness—Ophelia's cracking—is also a result of those relationships.

Madness ultimately shapes this play more than any other theme, and the various types of madness on display all result from these two relationships of Hamlet. Hoo boy, there's a lot of madness going on in Hamlet. This essay expertly argues that Hamlet's mommy and daddy problems are the cause of pretty much all of it.

Doesn't matter much if it's real or fake, or even if he's the one gone mad. This essay even makes a compelling case about how Ophelia's madness is only linked to her father's death superficially, and is really due to Hamlet's beef with Claudius.

Complete with textual evidence, attention to detail, and insightful analysis, this well-organized essay has a clear and convincing message. If there's a weakness, it's that this essay doesn't give equal time to Hamlet's relationship with Gertrude as it does to his relationship with Claudius. But the College Board understands that writing three essays in two hours is hard work, so those gracious folks aren't expecting absolute perfection. And because the prompt doesn't require more than one relationship discussion, anything mentioned about Gertrude is just gravy as far as we're concerned.

A central theme in Shakespeare's Hamlet is madness, which is demonstrated through Hamlet himself and through Ophelia. Hamlet's madness is seemingly all an act he perpetuates to help him gain vengeance for his father, while Ophelia's madness is a true tragedy. In both cases, the real and imagined cases of madness can be traced back to Hamlet's relationships with his mother and stepfather, Gertrude and Claudius. Ophelia's madness is undeniably real. In her early scenes, she shows herself as a good daughter who is willing to carry out her father's plans, even though it pits her against Hamlet.

Yet, following her father's death, she cracks. She sings and talks nonsense, and unlike Hamlet, there's no reason for her to put on an act. Following the unhinged manner in which she acts in front of the king and queen, it's not much of a surprise to discover that Ophelia has committed suicide. Ophelia's madness and death are a direct result of Hamlet killing her father.

But there's also a deeper reason for her madness. Her father's death isn't even supposed to happen. It's a mistake that stems from Hamlet's relationship with Claudius, and his desire for revenge. Once Hamlet learns of Claudius' role in his father's death, everything becomes about taking revenge. All Hamlet's thoughts and actions are driven by what he's learned about Claudius. It doesn't matter to Hamlet that Ophelia is at first an innocent bystander, and then a pawn of her father and the king.

He still purposely uses her, the woman he loves, as his primary way of putting on his act of madness. He treats her intentionally poorly as a means of showing everyone around him how crazy he's become, all in the name of fulfilling his plans for revenge. The combination of Hamlet's horrendous treatment of her, topped with his murder of her father, is what drives Ophelia over the edge. When Hamlet kills Polonius, this is one moment where his act might possibly have given way to true madness.

This happens directly after the play-within-a-play, which is when Hamlet discovers proof for himself that Claudius really killed his father. That revelation, and his belief that Claudius was the one spying on his mother and him, drives Hamlet to blindly drive his sword through the tapestry, which conceals Polonius. He does this in a fit of rage because of his hatred of Claudius.

Polonius really ends up as collateral damage—as does Ophelia—but her madness, both their deaths, and Hamlet's possible true madness in that moment, are all the result of Hamlet's hatred of Claudius. If Hamlet's feelings toward Claudius are to blame for all these events, then they are also naturally the reason Hamlet might have lost his mind a second time, this time at Ophelia's funeral.

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.

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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. Use these sample AP English essays to get ideas for your own AP essays. you are writing a for an AP English Language or AP English Literature prompt you.