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Essay Questions (Term 2)

  1. “Later on we’re going to have a few songs like that one – if you know the words, join in” (M.C., The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil). Examine the use of song and/or music in the work of two playwrights studied this term.
  2. Manus: For the benefit of the colonist?
    Owen: He’s a decent man.
    Manus: Aren't they all at some level? (Translations).
    Compare how two playwrights studied this term represent the effects of colonialism.
  1. “A mind in chaos suspected of genius. In a setting of cheap thrills and false emotion. The history of the garden says it all, beautifully” (Hannah, Arcadia). Analyse the significance of setting in the work of two playwrights studied this term.
  2. “I would not argue for a ‘new’ feminism, but for a continuum: an understanding of feminism as a political field that responds intrinsically and extrinsically to social and cultural change…” (Elaine Aston, Feminist Views on the English Stage). Explore how two playwrights studied this term grapple with feminism.
  3. “He said that history had to be remembered too” (Beth, Chiaroscuro). Discuss how two playwrights studied this term represent historical persons – recent or old; real or imagined – onstage.
  4. “To create something beautiful about despair, or out of a feeling of despair, is for me one of the most hopeful, life-affirming things a person can do” (Sarah Kane). Consider the ways in which two playwrights studied this term explore trauma.
  5. “I am obsessed with audiences. How to win them, why some things alienate them, how to draw them in and surprise them, what divides them” (Phoebe Waller-Bridge). Compare and contrast the role of the audience in the work of two playwrights studied this term.
  6. Devise a question of your own. To do so, please talk to your seminar tutor before the end of Term 3, Week 2.