Write a short essay (750 words) that defends a thesis you developed through a close critical reading/analysis of one (or two) literary works listed on the syllabus and supported by at least two
secondary sources. 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 but supported in part by at
least two secondary source. A list of potential topics for the DRAMA ESSAY is below.
1. Analyze key characters from one or more plays in this book. What motivates these characters? Point to specific moments in the play to make your case.
2. Write an analysis essay in which you single out an element of one or more plays for examination- character, plot, setting, theme, dramatic irony, tone, language, symbolism, conventions, or any
other element. Try to relate this element to the play as a whole. For example, “The Function of Teiresias in Oedipus the King,” “Imagery of Poison in Othello,” etc.
3. From a play you have enjoyed, choose a passage that strikes you as difficult, worth reading closely. Try to pick a passage not longer than about 20 lines. Explicate it- give it a close,
sentence-by sentence reading- and explain how this small part of the play relates to the whole. For instance, any of the following passages might be considered memorable (and essential to their
4. Othello’s soliloquy beginning “It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul” (Othello, 5.2.1-22)
5. Oedipus to Teiresias, speech beginning “Wealth, power, craft of statesmanship!” (Oedipus the King, 1.163-86)