The post-mortem analysis is intended as an experimental/exploratory inquiry into aspects of each work that capture your interest during reading, screening, and discussion. It is best approached as an entry in a critical/creative journal allowing you to engage in a dialogue with the material. In the post-mortem analysis, students are free to explore and expand their reactions and responses to the work(s) under consideration. You are encouraged to write about the aspects of the work that most appeal to you and engage with the issues raised that most interest you.The post-mortem should be composed of your own ideas and reactions, avoid plot summary.In the event that you are having difficulty formulating your ideas or coming up with material to consider, I am including some potential suggestions below. You are free to incorporate these into your work or ignore them in favor of ideas you find more intriguing. Regardless of your focus, the post-mortem should demonstrate active, imaginative, and thoughtful engagement with the material.Some ideas to consider might include:Discuss an image, idea or theme of significance in the play and analyze how it develops out of the characters and action of the piece. Consider how specific language and specific moments impacted your awareness of this theme/idea.Discuss the function of one or two of the smaller characters in the play. Consider how the character impacts the overall action of the play and also how it helps the audience1understand the play.Discuss the change that occurs in the world of the play by identifying the moment when a point of no return is reached such that the original circumstances can no longer be re-established. Consider how this peripety/reversal/climax develops out of the actions of characters within the play.Discuss Shakespeare’s handling of female characters within the play. Do they play a crucial role in the action and impact of the drama? Are they active or merely acted upon? To what degree are they dynamic agents of the plays’ action? Are they well-rounded characters or stereotypes?One of the unsettling aspects of tragedy is the way in which it challenges the efficacy of human reason and our ability to know and control our world. Comedy also often involves the insufficiency of some character’s best efforts to maintain control and/or the complications that can result from lack of knowledge. Consider how the action and issues central to the plot present such a challenge to reason and certainty.To what degree are characters within the world of the play responsible for their own fates and to what degree do they seem to be at the mercy of forces outside themselves?In many plays the action is driven to a greater or lesser degree by the machinations and manipulations of one of the characters. Identify this character and consider the motives behind their behavior and the methods employed. Discuss the overall outcome of their actions and the implications posited by their actions for the world of the play.2Falsehood, deceit and role-playing figure into all the plays we will be reading. Discuss their impact on the major action.
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