For this class, students will write a 5-page research essay having to do with one of the plays we are studying.

Research Essay Drama Literary Ventures Spring 2019

For this class, students will write a 5-page research essay having to do with one of the plays we are studying.

Choose ONE of these plays: Hamlet, Death of a Salesman.

Choose ONE of the major characters in the play, a character that clearly changes over the course of the play.

HAMLET: Hamlet, Claudius, Gertrude, or Ophelia


Choose TWO important scenes from your play that reveal a significant change in your character. For example, you might choose a scene in which the character is very happy and confident, and then choose a second scene in which the character feels like a complete failure and is on the verge of suicide.

In your essay, you will explore the two scenes, focusing on your character, and explaining how the change is revealed in the script (dialogue), and how the change can be shown to an audience (voice, facial expressions, gestures, costumes, movement, lighting, sound effects, music, relationships with other characters).

Research your character. These are famous plays. Find books having to do with the author and his plays; look up your play and your character in the index.

Go on-line and research your character. Look for scholarly articles (not just eNotes or Wikipedia).

Read articles and reviews having to do with specific productions of the play. What is the most important change the character experiences?

Go to Google Images or similar sites and search for photographs and drawings of productions of your play. Often, if you click on the image, it will link to a useful article. Search for your character by name and examine photographs of actors playing the role. How is the character costumed? How is the character lit?

Look at one or two movie versions of your play. Our library may have DVD versions. You may be able to find plays and scenes on YouTube and other websites. Find out how the two scenes you have selected have been performed (keep in mind that a play can be staged many times by different companies; there can be surprising differences in how characters are presented).

Explain how you would stage the two scenes if you could be the director. What is the change and why is it important? What aspects do you want to emphasize in each scene? How would you make sure the audience sees/ hears/ feels the important change in your character? What lines and actions help us see/ hear the change? How will you enhance the change with costuming, lighting, movement on stage, music, etc.?

Your Works Cited page should include citations for at least five sources. Cite all written sources of ideas or information. Cite any films or YouTube videos or online images that you use.

Use MLA format for your citations. Every source should be noted parenthetically with a proper in-text citation. At the end of your essay, include a Works Cited page with each source identified in proper MLA format. You should still have the guidebook you bought for Cornerstone; it describes proper MLA format. Also, there are several on-line sites that describe MLA format; one of the best is the Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab).

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