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THEA 104 Week 7 Notes

by: Kinsey Sturgeon

THEA 104 Week 7 Notes THEA 104

Marketplace > Ball State University > Theatre > THEA 104 > THEA 104 Week 7 Notes
Kinsey Sturgeon
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Notes on writing the critique & Trifles
Aesthetics 2
Dr. Michael O'Hara
Class Notes
theatre, aesthetics, THEA 104
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kinsey Sturgeon on Monday February 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to THEA 104 at Ball State University taught by Dr. Michael O'Hara in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 15 views. For similar materials see Aesthetics 2 in Theatre at Ball State University.


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Date Created: 02/29/16
Week Seven 2/24 – Writing Your Critique  Common issue o Grammar, syntax, & construction o Thesis, idea, & argument o Style & simplicity  Grammar, syntax, construction o Grammar = the logical & structural rules that govern the composition of sentences, phrases, and words in any given natural language o Syntax = the principles & rules for constructing sentences in natural languages o Constructions = the means by which each of the above together create a wholeness of idea, argument, or expression  Thesis, idea, & argument o Thesis = the sentence that provides a road map for the reader  Indicates the subject of the essay  Suggests, indicates, or shows the organizational layout of the argument/treatment  Makes a claim that’s disputable  Is persuasive in tone o Idea = the central claim of relevance to you subject  Your idea should be expressible in the simplest of sentences  Your idea should be clearly your own o Argument = a set of one or more meaningful declarative sentences that lead to a final declarative sentence known as the conclusion  Argument must be “falsifiable”  Arguments are primarily classified as deductive, inductive, or by analogy  Deductive o In criticism if the premises are reasonable & justified, then the conclusion is defensible & acceptable o Few scholarly/critical//cultural arguments are deductive  Inductive o Inductive arguments suggest conclusions based on reasonable or probably causes o Induction IDs patterns or congruencies & makes generalizable conclusions based on those observations o Many scholarly/cultural/criticism arguments are inductive  Argument by analogy o An argument by analogy goes from one particular to another particular o An argument by analogy may use a particular idea in a premise to argue towards a similar particular idea/interpretation in the conclusion o Ethos and pathos are often employed in these argument  Style & simplicity 2 o Style is the cluster of traits that create mood, readability, & pathos o Style is a correlative to communicative persistence o Simplicity is a subset of style o Simplicity is a correlative to comprehension 2/26 – Trifles-Analysis & Beyond  Trifles o What kind of play is Trifles?  Tragicomedy/drama  Domestic drama o What is the structure of Trifles?  Climactic  “Classic” Structure o Exposition – murder discovered by a neighbor o Inciting action – men dismiss kitchen as evidence o Rising action/complications  Men charge women to keep an eye out but dismiss quilt; women mourn their failed friendships as they discover clues o Crisis  Women discover bird, lie to the men, & indict themselves. Men bemoan lack of a motive while some leave to check windows o Climax  Mrs. Peters tries to hide the bird, fails, Mrs. Hale takes & hides it successfully o Resolution 3  Men return, joke about the quilt, and the women are “knot” in trouble any longer  Clues o Entrances  [the men enter] “all bundled up & go at once to the stove”  Men move in directed, goal driven ways, penetrating the center of the room  [the women enter] “slowly, & stand close together near the door  Women move in intuitive ways, sensitive to their environment o Gender perspectives  Men enter a crime scene  Men view domesticity as unimportant  Women enter a home  Women view domesticity as important  Men are performing a professional obligation  Men’s purposes are rigid  Women are fulfilling a personal request  Women’s purposes are fluid o Ways of knowing  Men deductively examine a single moment of violence  Men can’t find the single most important clue  Women inductively reconstruct an entire life 4  Women discover the life prior to the bird that gives that clue significance & meaning  Because women are lower status, they gain power to be quiet  Because the women didn’t arrive to discover anything, they were able to be open-minded & flexible as the evidence was discovered o Gender judgments  Men offered judgment, quickly & sometimes thoughtlessly  Women withheld judgment, defending against check bb  Not just gender o Most knowledge construction requires a “tolerance of ambiguity” o If you already know what you’re looking for, why bother looking? o Glaspell’s play goes beyond gender & suggests ways that humans pursue “truth” o This is why theatrical analysis CAN’T be deductive  Gendered truth? o How do we value the truths that we find? o What truth guided Mrs. Hale’s decision to hide the bird?  Compassion trumps law  Higher justice  Shared sense of responsibility 5 o What crime was being punished?  Neglect o Were Mrs. Hale & Mrs. Peters acting according to gender loyalty?  Truth & power o Compare the discovery of truth in A Doll House to Trifles  Women are more flexible, men are locked into expectations  Women’s truths hold more power  Social constructs were in the way in both  Nora is the only one who discovers the truth  Women’s discovery doesn’t radically alter their lives  Hiding to truth vs truth to hiding  Nora is changing for herself, women are changing for others o How does each play “speak truth to power”?  DH: icon of mother, call for action in the future  T: community, models behavior they’re seeking to power o Where does more authority in each play originate?  DH: Nora herself  T: community END OF MIDTERM MATERIAL 6


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