Drama Essay

(Total value: 150 points)


Due Date: 12/2/08

General Guidelines:



The focus of your paper will be either Death of a Salesman, or The Importance of Being Earnest. Write an argumentative paper with your thesis statement located as the final sentence of your introductory paragraph.

Below are some questions that you may find useful to the development of a focus and thesis:


Death of a Salesman

  1. Does Willy Loman die a martyr? How do Linda's and his sons' interpretations of his death differ?
  2. Discuss the gender relationships in this play. Are there any positive models for a harmonious relationship? Does Miller find this concept plausible?


The Importance of Being Earnest

1)    Critics have debated which of Wilde's commitments this play represents, the "art for art's sake" movement or the socialist. After reading the play, explain which side you take: Is this a basically frivolous play, or does it "aim to correct" some serious aspect of behavior?


2)    Discuss the character of Lady Bracknell. What social attitudes is Wilde parodying with her?


3)    How does stage business (note stage directions, and imagine how the characters would be moving their bodies and faces) enhance the play?


4)    Discuss what aspects of his society Wilde is satirizing.


5)    How does hypocrisy play a role in this drama?


How to turn in this essay: a paper copy is due during class on the due date. Additionally, an electronic copy is due, prior to the beginning of class, on the due date, and it must be turned in to TurnItIn.com as a MS Word doc or docx file. Use the TurnItIn.com “file upload” method on the submit screen. You will be instructed during class about how to create a TurnItIn.com account, and how to turn in your work. Your essays will be considered late until both the paper copy and the electronic copies are turned in. All other rules for late work, as delineated in section fifteen of the course syllabus, also apply. Moreover, your electronic turn-in must be an exact duplicate of the paper copy. In other words, no further corrections or revisions will be accepted. Also, if the electronic and paper copies do not match up it will have a negative impact on the assignment’s grade.



Due Date: 12/2/08