Unformatted text preview: 1 AP English Teacher Name Date A Tale Told By An Idiot “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,/ Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,/ To the last syllable of recorded time;/ And all our yesterdays have lighted fools/ the way to dusty death. Out, Out, brief candle,/ Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player/ That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,/ And then is heard no more. It is a tale/ Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,/ signifying nothing” ( Macbeth ; V.v.19-28). This soliloquy from Shakespeare’s, Macbeth , presents a despairing and depressing outlook on life, portraying it as an ultimately purposeless existence, unable to be controlled by any individual. William Faulkner uses a phrase from Macbeth’s monologue as the title of his novel, The Sound and the Fury, in order to allow his readers to connect the ultimate purposelessness and inevitable despair that the Compson family, and the people who surround it, endure, with Macbeth’s realization of the insignificance of life in general. Faulkner uses four different voices to narrate his story, and while each varies in tone, sophistication, and prejudice, they all lead the reader to discover a sense of meaninglessness found within each character’s actions and opinions. Faulkner therefore uses this passage as the foundation for his entire novel. He illustrates his Compson family as subject to the inevitable—they are unable to control the outcomes of their lives and find themselves dragged along a pre-determined path of despair towards inescapable death. Like Macbeth, the Compson family members must endure the fundamental triviality of their “hour upon the stage,” as they are merely “[players]” in the Acts and Scenes of their lives (Shakespeare , V.v, 25,24). 1 Faulkner begins The Sound and the Fury with a section narrated by Benjy, the mentally challenged member of the family, who portrays a more simplistic view of life. Faulkner directly challenged member of the family, who portrays a more simplistic view of life....
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1. Open Essay Prompt (1988):
Choose a distinguished novel or play in which some of the most significant events are mental or psychological; for example, awakenings. discoveries, changes in consciousness. In a well-organized essay, describe how the author manages to give these internal events the sense of excitement, suspense and climax usually associated with external action. Do not merely summarize the plot.
2. Open Essay Prompt (1982):
In great literature, no scene of violence exists for its own sake. Choose a work of literary merit that confronts the reader or audience with a scene(s) of violence. In a well-organized essay, explain how the scene or scenes contribute to the meaning of the complete work. Avoid plot summary.
3. Open Essay Prompt (1980):
A recurring theme in literature is the classic war between passion and responsibility. Choose a literary work in which a character confronts the demands of a private passion that conflicts with his or her responsibilities. In a well-written essay, show clearly the nature of conflict, its effects upon the character, and its significance to the work. Avoid plot summary.