drama research paper question

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Drama Paper: Mini-research paper (4-5 pages, Times Roman 12, double-spaced)

 In this paper, as in our previous assignments, you will be doing a close reading, but with two differences: (1) this paper asks you to examine two works and compare/contrast them, and (2) this paper requires research.  In this paper, you will compare and contrast Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House.  Your larger purpose in comparing/contrasting them is to consider the concept of tragedy.  Your thesis should make an assertion about the nature of tragedy in both works.

 This paper will address the following questions:

  • How are these two plays different?  Do these differences tell us something about the nature of tragedy?
  • How are these two plays similar?  Do these similarities tell us something about the nature of tragedy, or about the difference between Shakespearean drama and “modern” theater?

In this assignment, you are confined to discussing these two plays, but within this framework, you are free to choose what order to address these questions in and how to create a thesis that focuses your discussion.  Feel free to emphasize comparison and de-emphasize contrast or vice-versa, as long as in some way you have done both.  Be sure to give equal time to both plays, however.

It is also up to you how to use research in this paper.  My recommendation is that you use it to bolster your discussion of tragedy, drawing from scholarly sources to create your definitions, but you may also want to use articles on the plays themselves to help with your readings.  This is fine, as long as the following conditions are met:

  1. All sources must be cited correctly using MLA documentation.  This includes (1) in-text citations and (2) a Works Cited page.
  2. You must use at least five sources.  There is no maximum: if you would like to include more sources, that’s fine, but since our objective is close reading, it’s definitely not necessary.

Length: This is a lot of material to cover in 4-5 pages.  This means you need to be very concise.  Do not go over five pages!  Less is more.

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