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Published: Tuesday 29th of October 2013

How to Write a Drama Analysis Essay: Examples and Tips

Writing a drama analysis essay entails doing a comprehensive and methodical study of a drama or a play in a critical manner. The analysis focuses on the plot, the characters, as well as on the literary work upon which the play was based.

There are a few steps you should have in mind during the preparation phase for writing a drama essay: planning your work, researching the subject, writing the essay, and reviewing the written material. When planning your drama analysis essay you need to decide exactly what type of essay it will be, informational or persuasive. Informational drama essays describe the play, while persuasive essays feature an argument of a particular point of which the writer intends to convince his readers. In the research phase, you will go through all available literature on the play for the sake of gaining insight of its essence and collecting evidence that you can later use to support your claims. Always rely on multiple sources. Perform critical analysis of the existing written research about the play in question, before deciding what line of argument to choose for your essay.

The structure of a drama analysis essay consists of three major sections, much like in any other type essays: the introduction, the body of the essay and the conclusion. This is all organized and concisely drafted in the outline which serves as a structural base for the essay. After you give some general information, the introduction section ends with a thesis statement. The thesis should be formulated in a precise manner, to pertain to a specific aspect of the play which you will discuss in the essay. All the arguments discussed afterward throughout the body of the essay should be linked back to the thesis. Make sure that all points of discussion are well-supported by evidence. You will be well advised to cite lines from the play to backup your claims.

These are the essential elements of play analysis:

  • The plot summary. The plot represents the central scheme or the main story of a dramatic work. It determines what the play really is about. There are two main types of plots: linear and non-linear. In linear plots, the events are presented chronologically, while the events depicted in non-linear plots are given out of chronological order in the form of memory recollections or parallel plot lines that follow two distinct plots interchangeably.
  • The description of characters. An overview of the leading roles should be provided, with a short consideration of secondary characters as well, as they contribute to setting the mood of the play.
  • The use of language. A discussion of the manners of conversation that the characters practice, whether it is formal or casual, is a useful source of information on the environment in which the play takes place, the social or ethnic background of the characters, etc.
  • The analysis of the setting of the play refers to discussing who and what one can see on stage during the course of the play.
  • Determining the message of the play. The message is the crucial idea that the playwright intended to convey to the viewers of the play.
  • The analysis of the performance. Exploring the quality of acting, directing and staging of the play.

After the writing part of the project is finished, all that is left is to review your work in terms of spelling, grammar, adequate format style and referencing. The text must be unambiguous and easy to understand, with ideas flowing naturally and logically, reaching a conclusion that is consistent with your argument and that makes a lasting impression on the readers.

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