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Due:  Tuesday, April 24, 2001

For this essay, please read a play by Sophocles or Euripides that we have not covered in class.  Choose from the following list:

Sophocles
Euripides
Philoctetes
Alcestis
Electra
Phoenician Women
Oedipus at Colonus
Iphigenia in Tauris

These plays can be found in the volumes of the "Chicago" translations we have been using.

     After reading and pondering the play, write an essay in which you isolate what you believe to be the key scene — that is, the scene which most clearly indicates the theme or central concerns of the drama.  State what your scene is and why you have isolated it.

     Next, describe in detail how you would stage this scene.  Be sure to indicate the dressing of your stage, what the characters look like, how they behave, what they do onstage, when they enter and exit, and so on. The reader should be able to visualize the scene as it plays out in the theater of your imagination.  The essential question is this:  how does your staging communicate to the audience what the words of the playwright and the actions of his characters already communicate?

     Do not write a complete script: use descriptive paragraphs, citing the translation where appropriate.  (Similarly, please use diagrams and other visual aids sparingly.  Let your words draw the picture.)  Your staging can be as ancient or as modern as you like;  it must, however, convey your approach to the play as a whole.

      Format:  Your essays must be at least 8 pages, typed, double-spaced, and free of mechanical and grammatical errors.  When you cite the translation, either directly or indirectly, please use references to line numbers, not page numbers.  Finally, DO NOT include a bibliography, unless you consult resources other than the text of the play.  A single footnote at the beginning of the paper indicating translator, publisher, and so on will suffice.

     If you have any questions or comments, please contact me.  I will be happy to discuss your papers with you as they take shape.

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