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The Elements of Drama

Your assignment is to write a persuasive essay in which you discuss one or more of the following plays: Antigone and Trifles. You must choose from one of these four options when writing your essay:
Option 1: Compare and contrast Antigone with Trifles. You must choose between subtopic “a” and subtopic “b” when writing your paper. You must focus on one or more of the following subjects in your essay: theme, characters, dialogue, plot, and structure.

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a. Describe how Antigone is an example of ancient Greek drama, and how Trifles is an example of modern drama.
b. “The title character in Sophocles’ play Antigone is often referred to as a tragic heroine. A tragic hero or heroine begins the play as a well-loved person of stature, but that stature disappears, because of a tragic set of circumstances that (a) is foretold, (b) is inevitable, and (c) is brought about by the hero’s or heroine’s own actions. Compare and contrast Antigone, Creon, or another character from Antigone with Minnie Foster or another character from Trifles. Is Minnie a tragic heroine?

Is Minnie’s tragic circumstance (being arrested for and possibly convicted of murder after killing her husband) foretold, inevitable, and brought about by her own actions, like Antigone’s circumstance (the loss of her status and her freedom because she defied the king and buried her dead brother)?”
Option 2: Compare and contrast the play Trifles with the story “A Jury of Her Peers.” You must focus on one or more of the following subjects in your essay: theme, characters, dialogue, plot, and structure.

Option 3: Write an essay supporting a persuasive thesis regarding Antigone. You must focus on one or more of the following subjects in your essay: theme, characters, dialogue, plot, and structure. Here is a sample persuasive thesis: “The title character of Sophocles’ play Antigone is a tragic heroine. According to the ancient Greeks, a tragic hero or heroine begins the play as a well-loved person of stature, but that stature disappears, because of a tragic set of circumstances that (a) is foretold,

(b) is inevitable, and (c) is brought about by the hero’s or heroine’s own actions.”
Option 4: Write an essay supporting a persuasive thesis regarding Trifles. You must focus on one or more of the following subjects in your essay: theme, characters, dialogue, plot, and structure. Here is a sample persuasive thesis: “Susan Glaspell’s Trifles is an example of a feminist play. In a feminist story or play, the female characters typically struggle to assert their rights in a society dominated by men.”
The purpose of a persuasive essay is to present a thesis, and to convince the reader that your thesis is correct.

The final draft of your essay should be two or more double-spaced pages in length, not including a works cited page. Your essay should have a title as well as a thesis statement. You must support each of your claims with quotations from the plays.

After answering the above questions as part of the prewriting process, develop a Thesis Statement. Consult the sample essay on drama in your McMahan book for help on formatting an essay about drama. Relax and have fun with this assignment!

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