Example research essay topic: Analysis Of Theatre From Modern To Present – 1,465 words

In Oedipus we see a man whos chief desire is to
improve the state of his nation. He treats both
his wife and those below him in status with
respect. In Othello, we see a man who has devoted
his live to protecting his nation and whos chief
desire is to be accepted by his wife and society
as the hero he is. So why do such unbelievable
terrible things happen to both of them? Their
misfortunes are not causally related to any
misdoing, so it is unjust for them to suffer and
this is what makes for great tragedy. For the
tragedy to be meaningful, the characters must
start at a relative high point and spiral
downward. With suicide and self-mutilation as the
outcomes, the two characters must therefore begin
loftily.

As I said, for good tragedy, this descent
cannot come from any malevolent desire on the main
characters part, but a flaw in their personality.
Oedipus is a king by every right and willing to
fulfill this role at any cost to himself. Virtue
carried too far. This is Oedipus great flaw, his
overwhelming self-confidence. Who wouldnt be
confident after gaining a throne in one bold
stroke, defeating the sphinx not with valor, but
with wits. This arrogance keeps on a
self-destructive path even after those around him
suspect the truth and try to dissuade him. From
his hasty decimation of the bandits to his
treatment of faithful Tiresias, he is constantly
one step ahead of himself, acting before he has
all of the information.

He is always summoning
someone, commanding someone, dashing about the
stage trying to catch up with his past and
eventually, tragically, succeeding. Othello on the
other hand is also a hero whose fame precedes him,
but his has been gained through martial prowess.
Also a foreigner, but visibly differentiated,
Othellos perspective is always that of an outsider
who is constantly aware of it. While in Oedipus it
is a convention of Greek theatre that the action
take place offstage, in Othello, it is as much a
choice that he remain removed from the action. He
is caught up in a web of intrigue created in his
many absences, being controlled by Iagos
machinations as much as Oedipus strings are pulled
by fate. Once again hastiness undoes a character,
but where Oedipus stems from overconfidence,
Othellos is the opposite. His lack of self-esteem
due to his status as a moor creates jealousy to
the point of insanity.

A greater flaw than pride,
Othellos jealousy is outrageous to the point of
sending him into seizures. 2.) Marriage as a
social institution has affected our literature
tremendously. Seen sometimes as the logical result
of true love and just as often as the bar to it,
marriage is nonetheless something everybody does
(back then) and therefore is universal. Beginning
with the theatre of ancient Greece, marriage has
been a key factor in theatre much as it is and has
been in politics. Although not a major force in
Antigone, it is noteworthy that Creons first
threat to Antigone is the forfeiture of her
engagement and then queen hood. I do not feel that
this has any bearing on Antigones decision except
that it shows her priorities and steadfastness.
Tartuffe shows us that marriage can be quite
awful.

Throughout the play it is a threat that
grows more and more loathsome as it draws closer.
We can see marriage as being chained to a
grotesque creature for life, which for many Im
sure it has been. Religion, a social construct
even more powerful and abused than marriage, comes
into play in Tartuffe and indeed the two
constructs are comparable as being institutions
that are often treated like golden cows, venerated
to the point of ridiculous alienation. It is also
interesting to look at the existing marital
relationship in Tartuffe. How desirable does
marriage look when a wife has to demonstrate
Tartuffes lechery practically mid-coitus for her
husband to believe her? In Midsummer we see
marriage as more crucial to the plot. After all,
the events are set into motion by a marriage and
the play ends with several on the way. Here we see
marriage as both paradise and prison, depending on
whom it is to.

Filled with raucous dichotomies,
Midsummer parallels two pre-existing couples with
two couples-to-be. We have the eternal
conflict/romance between Titania and Oberon, and
the less important mortal coupling of the two
military leaders Theseus and Hippolyta, as well as
the four lovers who, with the exception of Helena,
are quite tedious. Indeed Oberon and Titania are
like ancient Greek Gods, beautiful and terrible in
their coupling. There manipulations hurt everyone
including each other, but its all for the sake of
love, and one cannot help but compare them to Lucy
and Desi or any other sit-com couple. The serious
side to marriage here is the threat to Hermia to
marry of being sent to a convent, even killed.
Egeus is inhuman in his capacity of progenitor of
both Hermia and the plays action, but it must be
done. It shows the treatment of marriage in
society and literature that the fathers control of
matrimony is his control of her life.

3. The
climax of a play always accompanies a revelation
and often a reversal as well. Sometimes the
surprise and unlikelihood of an event makes it the
climax, and other times the inevitable climb can
be fully realized to increase its magnitude. In
Oedipus, we know the climax is coming and we are
teased along the way, almost incapable of
believing the hero doesnt know what is going on.
There are several realizations in Oedipus and
Oedipus own unwillingness to accept the truths
that become more and more irrefutable creates the
strongest climax possible. The climax could have
come when Oedipus and Jocasta confided their
extremely similar circumstances to each other
(867) or when Jocasta and him exchange ankle
stories (780). These moments when the audience is
fooled into believing a climax is about to occur
make the revelation of the identity of the second
shepherd, the true climax, so much more powerful.
In Othello, we are not led so neatly to a clear
climax.

This would be unjust to the subtlety and
complexity of Iagos plots. By the fourth and fifth
act things are coming apart at the seams. Like
fine kindling, Iago has laid each of the
characters for incineration, including himself.
Once Othellos envy has been inflamed, things start
to combust. However dramatic the smothering of
Desdemona is, the true climax happens with her
lying there as stage dressing, when the truth
about the handkerchief and all that that means
comes out. Othello stands there undone while the
murder and violence continue around him. Tartuffe
is summed up with a fitting and stylized comedic
ending.

In a comedy without much action, the
scenes between the wife and Tartuffe with Orgon
hiding under the table are uproarious and
timeless. The buildup is undeniable and tense, and
the release is just as satisfying. Here is a truly
just climax, what the audience has been waiting
for since the third scene, exactly what a climax
should be. 4.) Great comedies have always relied
on something of a stock set of circumstances.
Throughout history comedies have evolved a cast of
established comic characters and in much the same
way comedic settings. These settings are
conventions of the play that facilitate the action
and hence the comedy. There are two discernable
types of settings, those that complicate the
characters and those that enable the characters.
Midsummer is of the latter and Tartuffe of the
former.

I do not know if Tartuffe originated the
comedic standby of the multiple doors, but it
works it within an inch of its life. Would we have
Noises Off without Tartuffe? The ever-present
doors keep all of the offstage characters
constantly in mind, the threat of their arrival
ever imminent. Midsummer is less of a mystery and
more of a chase, while Tartuffe lies in wait for
itself. At any point in the play, one of those
doors opening with the wrong character behind it
could potentially ruin the whole thing. Midsummer
uses the woods, the convention of the pastoral.
These woods, sometimes seen as naturally
complicated and other times magically such, let
characters exit at any given point and return at
any given point. This allows the characters to be
anywhere at anytime, magical or mundane.

Literally
anything can happen in the woods, which is why
when the four lovers enter to escape their mundane
circumstances. Once there, nature takes its
course, so to speak, in a very unnatural way. This
shows the awe which the natural world still held,
the most natural things and the most fantastic
being intertwined, which itself is a great
metaphor for love..

Research essay sample on Analysis Of Theatre From Modern To Present