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Drama is representation of life. It examines the individual and mirrors society, and in doing so, it functions as

social commentary and criticism

. As a genre of literature, drama refers to written text as well as physical performance. It embodies a corpus of creative and imaginative works of arts meant to entertain, teach morals, inform, and educate its audience. Although drama may look different from one time and society to another, it most often reflects the patterns of life that exists in society and among humanity, including its problems and aspirations. Playwrights have long used drama to help us understand ourselves and our environments by reflecting human nature staged in compelling human condition. In this way, through social commentary and criticism, drama becomes an important tool for social reflection and cultural understanding. Such criticism and commentary can be direct and literal, or it can be conveyed through figurative means, such as symbolism, allusion, allegory, and spectacle, leaving the interpretation of the message up to the readers and viewers.

Considering their commentary on humanity’s problems and aspirations, choose two plays from our assigned readings in which you find a strong thematic basis for comparison, and choose a critical theory from chapter 9 that will help you interpret and explain the meaning of the plays (see


170-83). Using the critical theory of your choice as a guiding principle of your analysis, write an analytical essay interpreting your comparison of the plays, explaining what the social commentary and criticism is. By analyzing the relevant elements of drama and literature, show how the plays comment on human nature, the human condition, and important issues facing humanity. In a formal introduction paragraph, develop a well-defined central argument culminating in a clear and comprehensive thesis statement about what the plays together say about humanity and life in the real world, reinforced by all your supporting paragraphs and summed up in a conclusion paragraph.


Finish 6 to 9 pages,

not counting works cited page.

Give your essay a creative, relevant title and a formal introduction paragraph that situates your reader, generates interest in your topic, and clearly states your thesis.

Provide sufficient supporting paragraphs unified by your thesis and followed by a conclusion paragraph that gives your analysis a sense of completion.

Support your thesis by quoting passages from the plays as evidence and examples of your argument. All your points should be founded in the texts themselves, and you should quote enough to make that clear.

Assume your reader knows the plays and only needs reminding of key points that have bearing on the point you’re making. Summarize no more than necessary.

Use at least


peer-reviewed articles as secondary sources, quoting relevant passages from each source to effectively reinforce your argument. You can access peer-reviewed articles through the Pierce College Library’s online databases, such as

Academic Search Complete, Artemis,




Format your essay according to current


guidelines (8th edition). See


page 53, and use the official website for guidance:



Thesis-and-support essay structure is required. That means you need a fully functional introduction paragraph, including a hook, the orientation, and your thesis statement I (in that order). Don’t quote from the literature in your introduction and don’t quote from your research in the introduction paragraph. Save synthesis for supporting paragraphs.

Your thesis needs to be complete and interpretive:

Subject + Opinion + Logic = Complete Thesis

Interpret what the plays together suggest about the world, about humanity.

Cite all referenced material according to current


guidelines, including parenthetical documentation and a list of works cited (see



Your essay will be scored holistically, based on content, adherence to the assignment, completeness of your response, support from the text, effective use of researched material and quotations, MLA formatting, and conventions of English writing, including spelling, grammar, and usage, in addition to readability.

Samuel Beckett

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