Drama Interpretation: ‘The Tempest by William Shakespeare”

Essay 2: Drama Interpretation (750-1000 words)

  • You will choose a dramatic work from the text—or, with approval, another dramatic work you have chosen and demonstrated access to—and write an essay interpreting its function as a dramatic work.
    • Your introduction will provide context. This may include historical information, biographical information on the author, the genre of the work, definitions of important concepts, or information about the work as a whole that leads you into your specific interpretation. All information must be cited.
    • Your thesis sentence will sum up the main point of your essay and forecast the organization of your ideas. You will be making an interpretive claim (see pgs. 1894+ of your textbook). For example, Oscar Wilde uses dramatic irony in An Ideal Husband to communicate the contrast between public appearance and private character.
      • More sample theses appear in the Writing About Drama PowerPoint. Your argument should either incorporate one of the patterns explained in this presentation or one of equal sophistication.
    • Your body paragraphs will each focus on one supporting point of your argument. Please do NOT feel you must restrict yourself to three body paragraphs! Remember to back up all of your claims with appropriately-cited evidence from the text. Plays are cited by act, scene, and line number, so the tenth line in the fifth scene of the first act would be indicated by (1.5.10). Antigone has only line numbers.
    • Your conclusion will reiterate your thesis sentence and explain the significance of your discussion. What larger implications can be found in your interpretation of this dramatic work? What can people learn from your discussion beyond a better understanding of the work you are discussing? Why does it matter?
    • You will include a Works Cited page containing a citation for the primary work you are discussing. If you use editorial information from your textbook, you must cite it separately. You MUST use at least one outside source for this essay, and no more than three. All outside sources other than your textbooks must be found via the MLA Database. If you need help generating ideas, speak with your instructor or visit the Writing Center.
  • Be sure to use the terms from Chapter 23, as well as any other relevant vocabulary, in your interpretation.

For information/guidance, see the Writing Center’s handout: http://www.blinn.edu/writing-centers/pdfs/Drama-Interpretation.pdf.

All formal writing assignments must include:

  • Correct MLA formatting as described in section MLA-5a of Writer’s Reference and shown on the Sample MLA Paper (MLA-5c).
  • Appropriate formal tone and correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
  • 12 point Times New Roman font