Beckett: “Krapp’s Last Tape

Drama Essay

Consider ONE of the plays below and answer the associated prompt in an essay with a clearly stated thesis.

Option 1—Glaspell: “Trifles”

Take a stance in which you argue why Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peter’s decision to hide the evidence that would convict Minnie Wright of her husband’s murder was or was not a moral and/or ethical decision.

Option 2—Beckett: “Krapp’s Last Tape”

In what ways is Krapp an ‘‘everyman’’ figure? Despite the experimental nature of the play, in what ways does it offer its audience a man who is like all men and who holds many of mankind’s assumptions about the self, experience, and time?

Option 4—Shakespeare: Hamlet

Throughout the play, Hamlet claims to be feigning madness, but his portrayal of a madman is so intense and so convincing that many readers believe that Hamlet actually slips into insanity at certain moments in the play. Do you think this is true, or is Hamlet merely play-acting insanity? What evidence can you cite for either claim?

Basic Requirements

Your essay must have a clear thesis supported by thoughtful analysis and evidence (including quoted evidence) from the play. It must be 2/12 – 31/2 pages long. You must use at least 1 secondary source for this paper. All sources used (including the play) must be in a Works Cited.


Students should read


· “Analysis vs. Summary” at (example deals with Hamlet).

Works Cited

Your essay should include a Works Cited that gives a citation for the play you choose to analyze along with at least one secondary source from a credible source of literary criticism. A valid source of literary criticism should come from a reputable, studied author who is giving their own analysis, evaluation, and interpretation of a given work.

The library databases are an acceptable place to search for literary criticism, and they also provide you with the formal MLA citation for you to copy. You might also find a great source of literary criticism from a scholarly source online. If you are in doubt, just send me an email and I will help.

Please keep in mind – you will lose points in your paper if you use any type of cliff notes, enotes, spark notes, or other quick reference site. etc.

In-text citations:

It is not enough to include sources in your Works Cited if you do not also use them – and give credit to the sources – within the paper. Basically, you have either committed plagiarism by not giving credit to the source you used – or you have not used the sources at all. Use the sources and give in-text citations to credit them.

· Ex: According to Smith, “yaba daba doo.” Then give your interpretation of the quote.

· Or: Minnie Wright was a strangely “yaba daba doo” (Smith).

Caution – do not allow more than 20% of your paper to be in quotes. You do not want to outsource your own voice or ideas to others.

Refer to the MLA format materials in under the Writing Resources button in the Writing about Literature folder.


Your essay will be graded on content, support, unity, coherence, grammar, mechanics, and format. While your ideas are the most important aspect of your paper, those ideas must be presented in a way that enhances – not obscures – them. Your writing skills must be on college level, free of sentence level mistakes. You must follow the prescribed manuscript and MLA format, and rigorously separate your words from the words of the playwright.

The basic MLA form is this: “enclose quoted text with double quotation marks, then cite the page # in parenthesis and end with a period” (22). In short, tell me what you think (and back it up with reasons) and you’ll be just fine. The FCC EN102 Composition Rubric is located in the folder with the instructions.

please read instructions carefully

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