Essay topics for drama 2140
1. It could be argued that our first four playwrights this term are interested in the consequences of both allowing and resisting passions. Various characters are portrayed inciting, denying, allowing, preventing or succumbing to different types of passions, while others seem to advocate for reason and control. Are some characters torn between the two extremes? Do any strike a comfortable balance? What might audiences learn from watching such struggles? Formulate and develop a thesis that compares and/or contrasts examples of playwrights’ treatment of passion in at least two plays.
2. Take the moral discourse/implications of any two of the plays and discuss how they reflect the religious or political context of the authors’ audiences. What were the authors trying to say and how did that reflect on the current state of affairs in their places of origin? What conclusion about the playwrights’ place in the society can you derive from these examples?
3.Topic: Formulate and develop a thesis that examines the role of one of the following in at least two plays studied this term: greed, family, deception, class, education, crime, corruption, music/song, parenthood, art, justice, or meta-theatre. This topic is designed to provide students with considerable freedom, but bear in mind your thesis must draw the plays you choose together, allowing for an analysis that reflects on them simultaneously. Do not write about the plays separately. To achieve this you might choose to compare or contrast playwrights’ techniques, plots, characters, etc., in their treatment of the topic you’ve chosen from the above list.
Students are not required to answer every question above or take every suggestion above. Use them as prompts for constructing and defending your own thesis. Use examples from two plays as necessary to defend your thesis adequately, bearing in mind the 2500 word count. Secondary sources are required to support both of the above topics – how and to what extent is up to you.
Your essay should be a persuasive argument, not a paper of observations. There should be a clear thesis statement of what your paper is attempting to prove. This proof will unfold in your analyses of relevant passages; hence you will support your argument with close reading of individual scenes, lines, words and stage directions. Secondary sources are required to support this essay – how and to what extent is up to you.
Your argument should proceed by claims that build on one another; these claims
should be articulated in focused, well-developed paragraphs; and the connections between these paragraphs should be signalled by transitions. You should adhere to the formatting and citation style outlined in the MLA Handbook For Writers of Research Papers.