How to Analyze a Scene/Passage in a Play
- Read the entire play first. Often the consequences of an action aren't clear until the end of the play.
- Re-read the scene/passage you're analyzing and answer the following questions:
- Who are the characters on the stage?
- What is the central issue the characters are discussing?
- What are the views of the characters in the scene? Since drama is based on conflicts, at least two of the characters will differ in their viewpoints. Remember that there may be more than two sides to the issue.
- Does the author seem to try to get you to side with one particular side?
- Does the action that follows suggest that one or more of the characters were right? That one or more characters were wrong?
- If the actions or beliefs of the character(s) you were siding with prove to be wrong in some way, why might the author have led you to sympathize with this character before you found out the results of the character's beliefs?
- What lessons do the various characters learn by the end of the play? Does their understanding suggest some sort of theme?