Analyzing a Play

Suggested length: 7-10 pages MLA Format Summary: This final paper covers our last unit on drama, so you will be analyzing a play. If you do not write about at least one play, your paper will receive no higher than a D. If the play and/or the other work you analyze does not appear in our anthology, you must provide me with a copy of the work(s) or the citation information so that I may locate it online. Some plays in my book you can use if you like any: Sophocles/Oedipus the King Shakespeare/The Tradedy of Othello Isben/A Dall house Williams/The Glass Menagerie Miller/Death of a Salesman Glaspell/Trifles Hansberry/A Rasin in the Sun Hwang/M. Butterfly Sanchez-Scott/The Cuban Swimmer Wilde/The Importance of Being Earnest Wilson/Fences Book: Literature: Approaches to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama, 2nd ed, edited by Robert DiYanni, McGraw Hill, 2008 Scholars use different lenses, or methods of critical analysis, to examine literature. Choose one or two of these “lenses” other than Formalist or New Critical (see list below) and apply the method(s) to a play from our reading list, from our textbook, or from a website for which you provide a link. This work should be a work that was written or adapted for the stage, and not a radio play or television or film script. You may include in your analysis references to other works (by the same author or by a different author who addresses a similar theme), but you are not required to write about more than one work. Critical Methods: Biographical (how does the work incorporate or reflect the author’s life and how might the author’s experiences and identity inform our understanding of the work) Psychoanalytic (how are suppressed desires or components of the human psyche relate to or reflected in the work) Historical/New Historical (how are the conditions and/or circumstances in the world or specific community at the time the work was written/published reflected in the work) Reader-Response (how might the work be read, received, and/or understood by certain audiences who bring specific experiences or identities to the work) Gender (how does the work comment on the creation, development, definition, enforcement, and/or consequences of gender roles) Economical (how do power structures, particularly related to class, affect a reader’s understanding of the work) Mythological (how does the work reflect and/or comment on archetypes or mythical motifs) Research: To write a passing essay on either topic, you must support your analysis with at least four sources other than the primary work. These outside sources are what make this a research paper. You will list both the primary and secondary works on a Works Cited page. When you use information from these sources in your paper (summarize, paraphrase, or quote directly), you will identify the first word or two of the relevant citation entries in parentheses (i.e., internal citations). Rely primarily on critical sources you find through the Cochise library databases. Secondary sources in college essays may NOT come from Sparknote, Bookrags, Shmoop, eNotes, CliffsNotes (or similar sites) or Wikipedia. Any of these sources will be discounted and points will be deducted from your score. The sources you use should have a clear author and should ideally come from .edu or .org sites rather than .com sites. Thesis: The main claim about the work or works is stated clearly and effectively and is arguable (not just a statement of fact).

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