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Literature & Language
Research Paper
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Metadrama - Different Aspects Of A Drama Or Play (Research Paper Sample)


Like an argument essay, a research essay provides a thesis and supports that thesis through research, observation, and analysis. A research essay will bring together multiple sources (books and/or articles) that address a common theme (or set of themes) relevant to the thesis you want to defend. A research essay based on a play will raise an issue or theme for investigation and address this through the text of the play itself, the performance of the play, and the research you’ve done on the issue(s) you’ve chosen. Note that both the text of the play and the TAPS performance must be referred to and cited in your essay.

There are a variety of themes for exploration in 10 Out of 12, and you are welcome to identify themes that you find particularly interesting and to develop a research trajectory in line with that interest. Regardless of the issue or theme of your essay, all essays should include discussion of the following prompt:

What is metadrama? What is the significance of metadrama? In what ways do the text and production of 10 Out of 12 represent metadrama and its significance? In what way(s) can the notion of metadrama help us think through common themes in the play, such as time, labor, or the expectations of the audience/spectator?

Note, the perspective of metadrama that you decide to emphasize will inform the more specific theme[s] you will explore in the rest of the essay. Here are some brief summaries of such themes, for your consideration.

  • Metadrama (i.e., the relation between 10 Out of 12 and the play-within-a-play contained in the script)
  • Time
  • Tedium
  • Labour/Backstage labor
  • Audience/Spectator expectations (and how 10 Out of 12 challenges these expectations)
  • Sacrifice
  • Dramaturgy of the actor (self-creation)
  • Hierarchy

This is not necessarily an exhaustive list of themes, and many of these themes can be addressed in connection with each other, when appropriate. It is not advisable to try to take on all of these themes, however; trenchant, nuanced exploration of 1-3 themes will likely result in a stronger essay than a submission that offers superficial, surface-level engagement with 4 or more themes. Note that there are two resources linked on Blackboard to help you understand how to engage a theatrical work in the context of academic writing (the links are under “Readings and Resources” “Resources: Reviewing a Play”).

Note: Your research essay should bring together no fewer than 6 academic sources.


Dramas and movies play a significant role in our lives and are a good source of entertainment. Whenever we feel bored or tired, we simply turn on our television and start watching a soap or a Hollywood movie. With the passage of time, the trend of watching concerts and theaters has increased. People now spend more time in theaters than in cinema halls. The reason is that theaters are a cheaper source of entertainment and allow them to learn new things and gain knowledge in a better way. Metadrama is a term used to describe different aspects of a drama or play. It draws attention to the nature and hidden message of that drama, and to the lifestyles and circumstances of its performers. The main elements of a metadrama are expressions of performers and the audience during a specific scene, direct address of audiences (especially in asides, soliloquies, epilogues, and prologues), elements whose meanings depend on the theoretical representation and actual story, and references to theater, acting, spectatorship and dramatic writing (Blowers 16).
During the 20th century, theaters and concerts were being ignored due to their similarities in performance and storytelling techniques. At the same time, the performers used to receive criticism from their fans for what they were doing. Following the work of Robert Weimann, theater studies and performing arts became an important subject in our colleges and universities, and today a lot of students opt for this field of study and enjoy reading relevant books and journals. A lot of new concepts and ideas have been introduced, including metadrama and metatheater. One of the major advantages of metadrama is that it allows actors and actresses to check what they are doing. In other words, we can say that this concept permits them to evaluate their performance and polish their skills (Caleb 14).
Not only this also metadrama makes it easy for the audience to unfold the hidden meanings of a particular play. For instance, if a play depicts the story of a scientist, the audience will definitely get to know about his personal and professional lives. Furthermore, they will know about his contributions to science or technology and will appreciate him if he had done some remarkable work in the past. Through metadramas, the performers get plenty of chances of communicating with the audience directly, and via their performance or dialogues, they can deliver their message and create awareness among others. In order to leave a positive and remarkable impression on the minds of viewers, they use strong expressions and deliver their dialogues carefully. On the other hand, the audience gets to know more about their favorite performers through a metadrama (Caleb 14).
In 2014, Dawood described that metadrama acts as an enhancement to develop different layers of illusion. In other words, we can say that it allows the audience to live in an imaginary world, where they learn new things, develop unique ideas and tend to fulfill their dreams. A powerful and amazing metadrama is capable of changing their mind by the whole. They are urged to believe the truths depicted in a play and admire the performance of the actors and actresses. Metadrama also lets people understand how difficult the life of an actor or actress. Meanwhile, it develops a strong relationship between the performer and his audience and

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