Essay Section: Introduction

When professors write the comment “Interesting!” their sentiments are about a particular area of your analysis. The sentiment is positive.

For example, you provide statements within a specific part of your paper that represent a bit of information your professor doesn’t know anything about and he believes that the parallel you attempt to prove is definitely realistic. This is application of “Interesting” on a basic level. On an advanced level, developing parallels between multiple contexts will garner an “Interesting!” from your professor, because of the uniqueness of the supporting evidence.

The student in the sample excerpt below uses a biblical reference event to compare to another event in a literary work. These two sources are not similar in historical context, but they both provide a window into humanity, because the works house real people who make real-life decisions regardless of the context.

The connections the student makes between the biblical Esau and the literary Caliban of Shakespeare’s The Tempest proves to be an interesting parallel that is appropriate, timely for the analysis, and forward-looking. Read the following excerpt to understand how your professor may possibly reach a decision to write “Interesting!” on your paper.

Sample Excerpt

Just as Antonio changes to a master role, where Prospero loses his position, he gains another position on the island.  He becomes a master and Caliban, a slave.  Prospero usurps the island from Caliban.  Not fearing that Prospero would take the island from him, Caliban reveals “. . . all the qualities of th’ isle . . .” and regrets ever doing so (1.2.340342).  Caliban sells his birthright just as Esau in the bible does, letting down his guard and revealing secrets when he shows Prospero the island.  He leaves no room for protection.  And Prospero uses Caliban’s own lips to steal away the island with “sorcery” (3.2.50).  So, Caliban is seen as aiding in his own demise.

Figure 19: Essay Excerpt on The Tempest


Esau, for a quick bite of Jacob’s soup, sold his birthright hastily without thought or respect to the fact that he was the eldest son.

The “birthright” comes with many privileges.  To sell it is to consider the birthright as nothing more than a name instead of the prestige and status it evokes.


The student provides a parallel between the biblical story of Jacob and Esau and the Shakespearean story of Prospero and Caliban.  Who knew that such a story was indeed universal and transcendent?

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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