2pg DRAMA Essay

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********Textbook “Lysistrata” by Sarah Ruden comparing to the movie “Chi-Raq” by Spike Lee

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*********Attached is an EXAMPLE ESSAY of what this essay should represent

Topic: Write an essay comparing similar elements in Lysistrata and Chi-Raq.

  • The thesis should be something like: “The most interesting similarity(s) between these two works….” (this one makes a point)
  • Another sort of thesis might be: “Chi-Raq uses many of the situations and devices from the source play, Lysistrata.” (this one is more about details)
  • a tip: if you don’t really have a point to make at the start, save it for the conclusion; if you’ve done a good job of discussing interesting similarities, a point will occur to you eventually.

Grade value: 1-6 points. I’ll be looking for details, thoughtfulness, and organization of ideas. Please, impress me with a stunning conclusion, too.


  • standard stuff: 10-11 pt font, nothing silly. 1-inch margins. Typed, double-spaced.
  • please, no space-wasting headings or unnecessary padding.
  • punctuate the titles correctly within the text every time you mention a title. You’ll lose a whole grade if you make any title punctuation errors. See the MLA guide in Course Docs if you forget the rule. Proof-read!
  • no documentation or works cited page is required. But if you quote from the play, you should indicate the page number in parentheses.
  • expected length is 2 pages +/-.


  • Two samples of very good student essays on this topic are in Course Docs (in the Chi-Raq folder)
  • The stories are similar, Duh! (one’s an adaptation of the other, so this has to be.) Again, way too obvious–do not tell us how the plots are similar. However, you might discuss some story elements that are very cleverly recycled or surprisingly transformed.
  • You can assume that the reader knows both works, so no plot summary is wanted.
  • Think about conventions used. About structure. About satiric targets. About genre. About why anyone is motivated to write an adaptation of anything.
  • Don’t even think about looking for material to borrow (plagiarize) on the internet. I’ve spent hours researching online for anything that might be tempting, and haven’t found anything useful (if I had, I wouldn’t be assigning this topic). There are LOTS of blogs and reviews of the movie, but of course most movie reviewers don’t know anything about Lysistrata.
  • If you didn’t really read the play, you should go back and do so first. You won’t be able to make thoughtful, detailed comparisons of the two works if you haven’t immersed yourself in both. If you need to read the play a second time, or watch the film a second time, GOOD! That’s how it ought to be done.
  • I do not want to read comments about the movie only–you got to watch it, so it is naturally going to appeal to you more and be more memorable. Demonstrate that you had some reaction to reading the play, too.
  • As always: details, specifics, examples. But this won’t be much of a paper if all you do is list similarities that you found. Describe them and say something about them. Explain why it’s interesting.
  • Make it fun to read, please.

Due: Tuesday, March 6


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