In this essay you will make an argument about a text grounded in your close reading. Your paper should focus on a single passage or block of lines from one of the primary texts assigned in Unit 2. You may also bring in other portions of the text, or other texts by the same author, if your argument requires. Be sure to directly quote the lines that you are close reading: the quotations are your evidence, and close reading is how you interpret and explain that evidence. Imagine (as in fact the case) you’re writing for an audience who is familiar with the text, but does not have it memorized or open in front of them.
When I consider everything that grows
Holds in perfection but a little moment,
That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows
Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;
When I perceive that men as plants increase,
Cheered and check’d even by the selfsame sky,
Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease,
And wear their brave state out of memory;
Then the conceit of this inconstant stay
Sets you most rich in youth before my sight,
Where wasteful Time debateth with Decay
To change your day of youth to sullied night;
And all in war with Time for love of you,
As he takes from you, I engraft you new.