Playwriting & Structure

Tragedies and comedies resolve conflict differently, which means that with some rewriting a tragic structure can be modified into a comic one and vice-versa. For instance, if Juliet (in Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet) wakes up in time, she and Romeo can live happily ever after. In fact, in 18th-century productions of Shakespeare’s plays, tragic endings were rewritten in favor of comic ones to suit the public’s taste.

For this assignment, choose one of the two plays we have read and perform a rewrite. Choose either Euripides’ tragedy Bacchae and turn it into a comedy, or choose Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream and turn it into a tragedy.

Find the turning point in your chosen play, the point at which the tragic or comic ending becomes inevitable, and discuss your plan to rewrite the ending to create a comic structure for The Bacchae or a tragic structure for A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Part 1 (plot synopsis)

Explain in detail your approach to your rewrite. Be specific. If in your rewrite of Midsummer Helena dies, explain how exactly this happens. Take into consideration the world of the play — the new resolution should fit with the given world as well as take into consideration the character relationships. With this new plot resolution, what message do you want your audience to take away?

Part 2 (new scene)

Write a scene from your rewrite. Focus on a crucial moment or pivotal interaction from your new resolution and write out the scene creating new dialogue for the characters. To write in the characters’ voice, deep in mind each characters’ personality and point of view as has already been established in the play.

PS: Please choose A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the document is attached.

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