Analysis of Drama

Purpose: This assignment will enable you to discover how a playwright’s use of elements such as character, dialogue, setting, plot, and time period work together to enhance the themes of a drama.  You will conduct a close reading of your chosen drama and discuss the playwright’s use of these devices in his or her structuring and composition of the script. You will also incorporate at least one appropriate scholarly source into your analysis, ensuring that your included scholarly materials are directly relevant and applicable to your argument. Applying a close reading and composing a literary analysis will prepare you for the many texts that you will read, summarize, and discuss in your future studies and in the workplace.


  • Write an essay that explores how and why key elements such as character or symbols from the drama of your choice (Master of None “Thanksgiving”) relate to one or two of the themes from Unit 1 (Love, Alienation/Otherness, the American Dream/Nightmare, Quest for Identity/Coming of Age, or Conformity/Rebellion) in a particular way, using at least onescholarly source (see attached).  Some important contexts you may consider are:
    • The dialogue
    • The setting
    • The plot
    • The cultural context
    • The time period in which the drama was written (vs. the one in which it is set, if applicable)
  • Your essay should incorporate details and quotes from the play (using parenthetical documentation with the playwright’s name), integrate them logically and grammatically, and you should use your own words to elaborate on the function and meaning of the details and quotes you use as evidence.
  • Apply what you learned by incorporating at least one quote or paraphrase from one of the literary theory research resources included in the course.
  • Be sure to include an in-text parenthetical citation for your sources as well as a bibliographic citation in MLA format for your Works Cited page.
  • Be sure to maintain an appropriate academic tone (no slang, first- or second-person [“I,” “we,” or “you”], contractions, etc.)

When writing your essay, the goal is to demonstrate what spin the play has on one or two particular themes. Be specific about the ways the theme is used and how the play’s use of time period, character, dialogue, and setting develop a deeper meaning to the theme. Provide details, including cited direct quotes from the play. Don’t forget that you must comment on the quotes you use to explain why they are significant.

File submissions:  Please submit your file as a DOC.X or PDF file.

Grading Criteria:

  • The specificity and development of your synthesized ideas about the drama
  • Your supporting research, evidence, logic, and organization
  • The quality of your writing, to include paragraph development and organization: topic sentences, conclusions, transitions, etc.
  • Your engagement with the drama (how you explain your examples, your choice of supporting quotations) and your academic source (selection of appropriate paraphrase/quote that adds to your overall argument) and according citations
  • Length Requirement: 750-1,000 words

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