In a 5-6 page essay following MLA formatting, analyze some aspect of the play that intrigues you. Your topic may be drawn from the list of topics for further study but can be any topic that interests you.
Part of this assignment is for you to find supportive material through library research. As such, you are required to use at least two sources to support your analysis.
- Of the two sources, one can be background information (about Elizabethan England or Cyprus, etc.),
- One of them must be literary criticism/analysis of the play or of Shakespeare’s plays
For example, if you are researching/writing about the roles of women in Othello, you must include in your paper support from at least one source that discusses the literary interpretation of women’s roles in Shakespeare or in Othello. The other source might be information about women’s roles in Elizabethan England (i.e. historical rather than literary sources).
You must use quotes from the play and from outside critical literary sources. Please include a works cited page at the end.
– Find one to two articles of literary criticism that shed light on your area of interest regarding the play.
– The thesis is a claim reflecting your interpretation of the play that is informed by the supporting criticism.
Here is an example:
Romeo and Juliet are iconic characters, in part because of their longevity in the literary canon, but also it can be argued that this is because of their roles as archetypal figures. Using the critical approach of archetypal theory, how well do the characters of Romeo and Juliet fit the archetypes of the hero and damsel in distress?
Sample working thesis:
Although Romeo and Juliet may not appear to be the typical hero and heroine, because of Romeo’s romantic nature and Juliet’s independent actions, they still fit the archetypal roles closely enough to have a resonance that draws in readers and play goers alike.