Comedy and Tragedy (Spring 2020)

Imagine that EMU has hired you as a peer instructor to teach a drama survey mini-course designed to offer students intellectual, artistic, emotional, and spiritual resources for flourishing during a pandemic. From among the plays we read together this semester, choose five plays written by playwrights from at least four different time periods and set in least four different countries to serve as your course’s texts. (If you wish, you may add a sixth play that you have read or viewed apart from our course.) In one well-organized, five- to eight-page essay, explain why you have chosen each play, identifying the connecting theme(s) that bring coherence to the selection and make(s) them appropriate for reading during a pandemic. Explain the order in which you’ll teach them, and mention a few of the activities you will use to bring each play to life for your students. Be sure to acknowledge any literary debt a particular play owes to an older play in your group.

Anonymous, Everyman

Aristophanes, Lysistrata

Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

Bertolt Brecht, Mother Courage and Her

Children

Margaret Edson, Wit

Oliver Goldsmith, She Stoops to Conquer

Henrik Ibsen, Ghosts

Lynn Nottage, Ruined

William Shakespeare, Hamlet

William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

Sophocles, Oedipus Rex

Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

August Wilson, Fences

For this take-home essay assignment, you may consult your texts, your notes, and your classmates. Provide brief excerpts from the plays (along with act, scene, and line numbers and/or page numbers) to support your points. I would prefer that you not consult print or online scholarly sources, but if you do, you must provide a “Works Cited” page and attribute those sources in the body of your essay. Upload your completed essay to Turnitin on Moodle before 8 am EST on Tuesday 29 April. (I urge you to submit it early so you can check your originality report and revise as needed.) We will discuss your insights over Zoom at 8:30 am that day.

‘A’ paper Detailed and insightful discussion of the texts

Bold and interesting thesis statement

Careful organization and development

Properly attributed and documented quotations from the texts

Introduction that grabs reader’s interest in addition to previewing main points

Well-developed supporting paragraphs joined by artful transitions

Conclusive and memorable final paragraph that connects to the paper’s opening

Tight, fresh, and highly specific prose

Tone that enhances the purposes of the paper

Virtually no mechanical errors

Intriguing title

‘B’ paper Detailed discussion of the texts

Bold thesis statement

Clear organizing principle that becomes evident early in the paper

Properly attributed and documented quotations from the texts

Engaging introduction that previews paper’s main points

Well-developed supporting paragraphs

Conclusive and memorable final paragraph

Lively and concise prose (limited use of the passive voice, “it is”/“there are”)

Appropriate tone

Very few mechanical errors

Interesting title

‘C’ paper General discussion of the texts

(perhaps without detailed and specific examples)

Generally clear thesis statement

Properly attributed and documented quotations from the texts

Evidence of organizational effort (introduction, supporting paragraphs,

conclusion)

Generally clear prose (may include frequent use of the passive voice, “it

is”/“there are”)

Appropriate tone

Few mechanical errors

Descriptive title

‘D’ paper Superficial discussion of the texts

Indiscernible or inconclusive thesis statement

Careless handling of sources

Unclear or ineffective organization

Awkward prose

Inappropriate tone (too stuffy or too slangy)

Frequent or serious mechanical errors

Vague title

‘F’ paper Superficial discussion of the texts

Indiscernible thesis statement

Irrelevant and/or insufficient use of or careless handling of sources

Little evidence of organization (if any)

Garbled or stylistically primitive prose

Inappropriate tone (too stuffy or too slangy)

Frequent and serious mechanical errors

Missing or misleading title

Choose a topic addressed in at least three plays we have studied this semester otherthan the one you researched for your project. No two of your plays should have been written within fifty years of each other, and, among the three, they should represent two of our three categories: comedy, tragedy, or tragicomedy. Discuss the significance of each playwright’s decision to address the topic as a comic or tragic writer; the debts (if any) more recent playwrights owe to their predecessors; and your analysis of each play’s relevance for viewers/readers in 2016.

Comedy and Tragedy (Spring 2020)

Final Examination

Imagine that EMU has hired you as a peer instructor to teach a drama survey mini-course designed to offer students intellectual, artistic, emotional, and spiritual resources for flourishing during a pandemic. From among the plays we read together this semester, choose five plays written by playwrights from at least four different time periods and set in least four different countries to serve as your course’s texts. (If you wish, you may add a sixth play that you have read or viewed apart from our course.) In one well-organized, five- to eight-page essay, explain why you have chosen each play, identifying the connecting theme(s) that bring coherence to the selection and make(s) them appropriate for reading during a pandemic. Explain the order in which you’ll teach them, and mention a few of the activities you will use to bring each play to life for your students. Be sure to acknowledge any literary debt a particular play owes to an older play in your group.

Anonymous, Everyman

Aristophanes, Lysistrata

Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

Bertolt Brecht, Mother Courage and Her

Children

Margaret Edson, Wit

Oliver Goldsmith, She Stoops to Conquer

Henrik Ibsen, Ghosts

Lynn Nottage, Ruined

William Shakespeare, Hamlet

William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

Sophocles, Oedipus Rex

Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

August Wilson, Fences

For this take-home essay assignment, you may consult your texts, your notes, and your classmates. Provide brief excerpts from the plays (along with act, scene, and line numbers and/or page numbers) to support your points. I would prefer that you not consult print or online scholarly sources, but if you do, you must provide a “Works Cited” page and attribute those sources in the body of your essay. Upload your completed essay to Turnitin on Moodle before 8 am EST on Tuesday 29 April. (I urge you to submit it early so you can check your originality report and revise as needed.) We will discuss your insights over Zoom at 8:30 am that day.

‘A’ paper Detailed and insightful discussion of the texts

Bold and interesting thesis statement

Careful organization and development

Properly attributed and documented quotations from the texts

Introduction that grabs reader’s interest in addition to previewing main points

Well-developed supporting paragraphs joined by artful transitions

Conclusive and memorable final paragraph that connects to the paper’s opening

Tight, fresh, and highly specific prose

Tone that enhances the purposes of the paper

Virtually no mechanical errors

Intriguing title

‘B’ paper Detailed discussion of the texts

Bold thesis statement

Clear organizing principle that becomes evident early in the paper

Properly attributed and documented quotations from the texts

Engaging introduction that previews paper’s main points

Well-developed supporting paragraphs

Conclusive and memorable final paragraph

Lively and concise prose (limited use of the passive voice, “it is”/“there are”)

Appropriate tone

Very few mechanical errors

Interesting title

‘C’ paper General discussion of the texts

(perhaps without detailed and specific examples)

Generally clear thesis statement

Properly attributed and documented quotations from the texts

Evidence of organizational effort (introduction, supporting paragraphs,

conclusion)

Generally clear prose (may include frequent use of the passive voice, “it

is”/“there are”)

Appropriate tone

Few mechanical errors

Descriptive title

‘D’ paper Superficial discussion of the texts

Indiscernible or inconclusive thesis statement

Careless handling of sources

Unclear or ineffective organization

Awkward prose

Inappropriate tone (too stuffy or too slangy)

Frequent or serious mechanical errors

Vague title

‘F’ paper Superficial discussion of the texts

Indiscernible thesis statement

Irrelevant and/or insufficient use of or careless handling of sources

Little evidence of organization (if any)

Garbled or stylistically primitive prose

Inappropriate tone (too stuffy or too slangy)

Frequent and serious mechanical errors

Missing or misleading title

Choose a topic addressed in at least three plays we have studied this semester otherthan the one you researched for your project. No tw </pclass="p1">

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