eng1102 drama analysis 1

Your assignment is to write a fully fleshed out Drama Analysis Essay(4F) that defends a thesis you developed through a close critical reading/analysis of a work of drama listed on the syllabus. Your analysis relies on textual support from the primary text, but additional outside academic sources are welcome for support. Do not confuse “critical analysis” with “plot summary;” the goal is to develop, sustain, and advance a thesis based on a critique of the primary text that clearly expresses thoughts on a significant literary theme of your choosing (it may be one spoken on in class). Remember that a theme is more than an abstract term (like those below), it’s an observation on life or the human condition. What does your chosen work say about one of the below terms?

Examples of Common Dramatic Thematic Elements:

Grief Religion Revenge (or Revenge versus Justice) Family Sex The Oedipus Complex Honor versus Duty Madness (i.e. argue a character was or wasn’t insane) Jungian Mask Self (the idea of discovery of self, or trueness to self) Mortality/Frailty of Life Lies and Deceit War (both within and without) Arts and Culture

Excellent papers will include properly cited quotes or paraphrases from at least one credible source from outside your textbook to support your thesis.

Your essay should contain a thesis statement that gives me an idea of how you will back this point up and how your support will be organized throughout. It should also fulfill the other requirements of your rubric.

Important:Need to write drafts 4A-4E and then complete the final essay 4F.1000 words (three-four pages double spaced 12 point font). Your options for plays to use for this assignment are“Trifles”,“Soap Opera” and “The Cuban Swimmer.”


HOW do we do it?

What’s the same: We’ll still be trying to identify themes (i.e. observations or commentaries about life and the human condition). We’ll still be paying attention to the plot (beginning, middle, and end of the struggle with a conflict) and the characters and how they change.

What’s different: Plays communicate in two ways: dialogue and stage directions. These and the subtext or implied meaning of these are what we have to draw upon for our analysis.

Pay attention to the details of each play and consider what they might add up to in terms of overall meaning.

Your options for plays to use for this assignment are “Trifles,” “Soap Opera,” and “The Cuban Swimmer.” Each is listed on the Course Schedule Announcement as assigned reading.

Assignment 4A: Close Reading

Your first assignment in the creation of your Drama Analysis Essay is to choose one of the assigned readings for this module, reread it closely, keeping in mind the concepts of critical reading discussed in class, and then answer the following questions to help generate ideas for your Drama Analysis:

  • Who is the “hero” or protagonist of this play?
  • What is the hero’s main struggle? Is it an external or internal conflict?
  • What lessons did the hero learn from their struggle? What are the major ways in which they changed or grew as a character?
  • What era (time period) is the play set in? Did the cultural values of this time impact the action of the play? If so, how?
  • Where physically is the play set? Does the setting act as a “character” in the play? If so, how?
  • Is there any imagery or any references the play uses to tell the reader something? Are there any major symbols?
  • Are there any significant things the characters aren’t saying (subtext)?
  • What is the dominant theme of this piece?
  • How do you know this theme exists?
  • What insights, if any, can be revealed by applying different critical lenses?

In answering these questions, you should demonstrate a thoughtful reflection on the piece, including key takeaways, aspects you agree or disagree with or were particularly struck by, and important questions for future consideration. This can be done in the free-flowing style of a pre-writing activity rather than the formal formatting of an MLA essay.

4B-4F need MLA style.

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