How does Shakespeare use descriptive language to enhance the visual possibilities of a stage production?

Drama Essay

Consider ONE of the plays below and answer the associated questions.

Option 1—Glaspell: “Trifles” “A Jury of Her Peers” is based on Glaspell’s own one-act play “Trifles.” Consider what reasons the author may have had for rewriting the play in short story form. What are the main differences between telling a story through narration and telling it through drama? How might the story be different if it were adapted as another form, such as a poem or a film?

Option 2—Beckett: “Krapp’s Last Tape” In what ways is Krapp an ‘‘everyman’’ figure? Despite the experimental nature of the play, in what ways does it offer its audience a man who is like all men and who holds many of mankind’s assumptions about the self, experience, and time?

Option 3—Shakespeare: Hamlet Analyze the use of descriptions and images in Hamlet. How does Shakespeare use descriptive language to enhance the visual possibilities of a stage production? How does he use imagery to create a mood of tension, suspense, fear, and despair?

Option 4—Shakespeare: Hamlet Throughout the play, Hamlet claims to be feigning madness, but his portrayal of a madman is so intense and so convincing that many readers believe that Hamlet actually slips into insanity at certain moments in the play. Do you think this is true, or is Hamlet merely play-acting insanity? What evidence can you cite for either claim?


Your essay must have a clear thesis supported by thoughtful analysis and evidence (including quoted evidence) from the play. It must be 3-4 pages long.

You may NOT use secondary sources for this paper. The paper is to be based on your analysis of the play—not the views of other critics. Resources Students should read • • “Analyzing Plays” at • “Analysis vs. Summary” at (example deals with Hamlet). Works Cited Although this is not a research paper, you still need to list your play (and the short story if you choose that option) as a source in the Works Cited page. Refer to the MLA format materials in under the Writing Resources buttiquon in the Writing about Literature folder.

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