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Topic – Choose one of the following:
1. One of the central themes in both Antigone and Trifles is the conflict between man-made laws and individual conscience. The thesis of your essay should address the following questions: After reading Antigone and Trifles, what conclusions do you come to about the conflicts represented between law and conscience? Were the characters in each play justified to act on conscience rather than by the law? Develop your answers with specific reference and support from each play.
2. In literature, a foil is a character who is presented as a contrast to another character so as to illustrate factors, such as the qualities and motivations of a character or to emphasize the conflict in the play. After determining the theme, identify two sets of foils in ONE of the following plays. Analyze how each set of foils functions thematically in the context of the play as a whole.
• Trifles
• Death of a Salesman
• A Raisin in the Sun
• Water by the Spoonful
3. On page XXI, Kelly explains, “Spectacle was Aristotle’s term for what the audience sees – the play as a physical reality. We might amplify this category to include all the material aspects of the play, including the set, costumes, props, music, sound effects and so on….the spectacle establishes the atmosphere of the play…manipulates your attitude and mood.”
Analyze how these elements are used in TWO of the plays and how they support the theme of each play.
Introduction:
◦ Interests the reader.
◦ Introduces the titles plays being referenced and the authors’ full names.
◦ Includes the thesis – usually last sentence that gives an indication of the focus of your essay.
Body paragraphs: Analyze the play(s) in terms specifically in terms of the essay prompt. Be sure to address specific elements of drama: character, language, plot, imagery, symbols, setting. What conclusions do you come to about the actions and motivations of the characters and the effectiveness of each play?
◦ Begin a new paragraph with each new idea.
◦ Develop your essay with specific references to the play(s). Failure to do so and to incorporate cited evidence will severely and negatively impact your grade.
 Keep your audience in mind. Only paraphrase what is necessary to make your point clear. Don’t summarize for the sake of summarizing.
 Use quotations appropriately. All major points should be supported with text evidence.
 Do not over-quote. It is a major problem when quoted material comprises 25% or more of an essay. Balance quotations with your own analysis and ideas.
Conclusion: What conclusions do you come to about the conflict between law and conscience? A good conclusion:
◦ Gives a sense of completion
◦ Does not introduce a new idea
◦ Is not just a recap of main points
Guidelines:
• Length: 650-800 words.
• DO NOT USE OUTSIDE SOURCES. Your essay should be developed using YOUR ideas supported with specific evidence from the plays. This is not a research paper.
Citation:
 For citation of plays include act, scene, line, if available.
 For plays, include the act number, scene number, and line number in the parenthetical citation; these numbers should be separated with a period. Not all plays have acts, scenes, and lines. In your citation, just include what you can.
 In MLA citation, the period follows the parentheses.
◦ Travis retorts, “I am eating” (Hansberry 1.1).
 Exception: if the quote ends in a question or exclamation, keep the original punctuation in the quote and then follow the parentheses with the period.
◦ Ismene asks, “Would you bury him, when it is forbidden the city?” (Sophocles 50).
 Works Cited: Include the title and author of the play, as well as the source information. Work Cited entries are alphabetized by authors’ last names.
Remember:
• Include a title (not “Essay 2”).
• Write all academic essays from the third-person point of view. There should be no first person (i.e., I think, In my opinion, we, our) and absolutely NO second person (you, your) references, unless it is part of a quotation.
Examples:
No: I think Antigone is a headstrong character.
Yes: Antigone is a headstrong character.
No: Laws exist for a reason. You must follow them or pay the price.
Yes: Laws exist for a reason. People must follow them or pay the price.
• Format the entire document according to MLA guidelines.
• Review previous graded assignments to identify and avoid making the same errors.
Grading:
• Format: 15 points
• Content: 65 points
• Grammar, Mechanics, Punctuation: 20 points

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