Please write an essay (of between 900-1000 words) on one of the following topics. You are not required to answer every question posed below. The questions within each essay topic are there to inspire and guide your ideas so it is worth considering each of them; however, it will be most effective to maintain focus by following one particular question instead of writing a more general paper.
We are looking for ideas expressed in clear and error-free prose, beginning with a strong thesis statement. Your essay should not simply describe or summarize your chosen text. Instead, there needs to be an argument that is substantiated by close readings of direct quotations from the text, and that establishes for your reader how the author uses form to shape meaning. When you submit your essay, please ensure that you underline or make bold your thesis statement.
Give yourself plenty of time to edit for ideas and clarity. Proofread – for spelling, grammar, and MLA formatting – several times before you submit your essay.
- How is sexuality performed in drama? How might this performance differ in a play as opposed to a novel? Examine how seduction is written into the plot of one of these plays, and how that manifests itself through performance. Ground your arguments in close readings of the text, but also consider drawing on videos/YouTube clips of a particular scene in order to reflect on how it might be performed in different ways. Remember – if you are drawing on clips of past productions, be sure that your Works Cited list includes a bibliographic entry for each performance you are discussing.
- Examine the representation of disability in The Glass Menagerie or Richard III and explain its significance within that play. How do the characters identify with or interpret their disabilities? How are these disabilities meant to be staged? How does their physical state influence the ways in which they view the world, and the way they are viewed by others?
- In The School for Scandal and Richard III, characters perform particular identities which are often not representative of their true selves – in fact, they are just acting! Consider the relationship between performance and identity, or appearance and reality in either play and explain the purpose or effect of this performativity. In what ways do the characters’ performances illustrate the discrepancy between surface and substance, or between delusion and truth? How does the space of the theatre complicate the ways in which one interprets or understands identity, character, and performance?
- Since dramas are performed and viewed live, one would expect works in this genre to be more realistic. Is this always the case? Consider how a play from this course supports or subverts drama’s claim to realism. How is (un)realisticness manifested? Through words? Costumes? Asides? Dramatic gestures? Do characters speak of it, or must it only be found in Stage Directions? Avoid arguing that this realisticness is to make the work more “relatable” or like “real life”; instead, root your argument in the language of how content (real life within the drama itself) is influenced by form (the ways in which the author makes something realistic/unrealistic).
- In The Glass Menagerie, The School for Scandal, and Richard III, characters address the audience directly through soliloquies, asides, prologues, and epilogues. In these moments, characters may confide in the audience, give lessons, explain elements of performance, make snide remarks, or even just think aloud. Examine the function of asides, soliloquies, prologues, or epilogues in one of the plays and explain the significance of their use. How do these confessional, explanatory, or comedic moments function in performance? What do they reveal to the audience about the characters or play and how do they clarify or contradict the central action that occurs outside of these moments? Does the reliability of the speaker influence how one interprets what s/he says? How are we meant to use these more intimate moments to interpret the characters, purpose, or themes of the play?
|Due By (Pacific Time)
||12/01/2014 01:30 pm