English 102 – 4th Essay: Play
Choose one of the topics below for your essay on one of the plays we have read in class. The topics are intentionally broad and need to be narrowed to a workable thesis. Do not just answer the question in the assignment, but use the questions as a guide for your essay.
- Write a critical essay on how Oedipus’ hubris (tragic flaw) and hamartia (mistake or error of judgment) cause the tragic outcome of the play, Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex. Consider the anagnorisis (the discovery) and the peripety (the change of character) of Oedipus as he figures out his mistake.
- Write an analysis essay focusing on the “madness” of Prince Hamlet from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Determine whether the prince is actually insane or pretending to be insane.
- Use one of the following plays – Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House or Tennessee Williams’s A Glass Menagerie – and write a critical essay on how the social norms and/or the traditional values of society affect the characters in the play, specifically the female characters. How do the characters deal with these norms or traditions? Explain if they get out of the situation or not and why. You may explore how the characters’ lives would be different if they were living under today’s social norms.
Your introduction must include a summary (one sentence only) of the play. The summary should include the title of the play and the name of the author.
For your body paragraphs, use only the play as your grounds (support). Do not do any research. You also need to show warrants (explanations of the relationship between your grounds and your thesis statement). Also, do not summarize the whole play again in the body paragraphs. Instead, do a close reading on a particular section of a play.
If you are quoting from Hamlet or Oedipus Rex, make sure you use the forward slash after each line, since these plays are written in verse.
The essay should be at least 5 pages, typed and double-spaced, with separate pages for the title page and the Work Cited page. The due date is Tuesday, June 2, at 10 a.m. in class. Do not turn in the paper via email. No late papers will be permitted.
If you have any questions concerning the paper or the topic, feel free to contact me via email or during office hours.