Playwright Research

For this essay, you will need to select a playwright and write a research paper which offers some insight into the playwright’s background and/or career AND ALSO analyzes one of his or her plays. You should include the background information about the playwright in the first part of your paper. In the second part, you should analyze a particular piece of work from the playwright. Your thesis should clear, focused, and clearly identifiable in the first or second paragraph of the paper. It can be explanatory, interpretative, or evaluative, but it should include literary techniques such as theme, symbolism, point of view, setting, character, etc. Textual support in the form of concrete, specific examples should be provided in the body of your paper in order to support your claim.
Remember, a thesis is comprised of the following components:TOPIC + CLAIM + POINTS OF SUPPORT
The topic would be the play, the claim is whatever specific conclusion you’ve come to about the playwright and the work, and for points of support you will have to analyze elements of the play using one of the critical approaches we’ve studied this semester.About the paper’s content:you are simply trying to explain to the reader a way of understanding or interpreting the play. To a degree, you are arguing that your way of seeing the work is a more reasonable way than some other. Unlike your previous papers, however, you will also be using your research (incorporating secondary sources) to further support your claim or analysis of the work.For Trifles, there are many options. You could examine how the play reflects addressed issues of gender, or gender inequality, and use the formalist method (analyzing the playwright’s use of literary devices) to support claim.For A Doll’s House, certainly a formalist, Marxist, Feminist, or Gender approach could work, although you are not limited to any of these. Since we are doing research for this essay, you can also use a biographical or historical approach with any of the plays. However, keep in mind that your goal should be the same as in the other papers (to shed light on the meaning of the work as literature); don’t get sidetracked into writing primarily about biography or history.For Death of a Salesman, you could discuss the playwright’s use of literary devices to explain the theme of the play (the point he’s trying to make about the identity, family, and/or the American Dream, for example).