A variety of written assignments will allow you to respond to our topic in different ways. Three short (2-3 pp.) response essays allow you to focus on a specific aspect of the work under discussion in a thoughtful way. Because they are designed to prompt substantial conversation in class, their effectiveness diminishes if they are not ready before we talk. Therefore, except in very special circumstances (arranged with me), response papers will not be accepted after the assigned date. A 5-page essay will provide an opportunity for you to focus in greater depth upon a single topic in a single play. A long paper (15 pages or more) will allow you to reflect upon a topic of particular interest to you during the semester. All written work should be typed and double-spaced, with standard margins.

Selected Materials Accompanying Student Presentations


  • Lord Byron by John Danaher (PDF)

  • Handout: A Selective Time Line of the History of Gardening by Leah Hutchinson (PDF)

Invention of Love

  • Oscar Wilde by Rydia Vielehr (PDF)

Waiting for Godot in relation to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

  • Handout (PDF)


  • Handout (PDF)

Lancelot Brown, landscape gardener, and the Picturesque concept in 18th-century art (PDF)

Mad Forest

  • Images accompanying class discussion by John Danaher (PDF)

Student Work

Truth vs. Facts and What Matters in Tom Stoppard's Arcadia and Indian Ink by Michelle Seitz (PDF)

Discussion Questions

1 Introduction
2 Stoppard. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. (1966/7) (If you have never read or seen Hamlet, please read or watch a film version of it first.) (PDF)
3 Stoppard. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. (1966/7) (cont.)
4 Stoppard. The Real Inspector Hound. (1969/70) (PDF)
5 Stoppard. Travesties. (1975) (PDF)
6 Stoppard. Travesties. (1975) (cont.)
7 Churchill. Light Shining in Buckinghamshire. (1976) (PDF)
8 Churchill. Light Shining in Buckinghamshire. (1976) (cont.)
9 Churchill. Cloud 9. (1979/84 rev. version) (PDF)
10 Churchill. Cloud 9. (1979/84 rev. version) (cont.)
11 Churchill. Top Girls. (1982) (PDF)
12 Churchill. Top Girls. (1982) (cont.)
13 Stoppard. The Real Thing. (1982) (PDF)
14 Churchill. Serious Money. (1987) (PDF)
15 Churchill. Serious Money. (1987) (cont.)
16 Stoppard. Hapgood. (1988)
17 Stoppard. Hapgood. (1988) (cont.)
18 Churchill. Mad Forest. (1990) (PDF)
19 Churchill. Mad Forest. (1990) (cont.)
20 Stoppard. Arcadia. (1993) (PDF)
21 Stoppard. Arcadia. (1993) (cont.)
22 Stoppard. The Invention of Love. (1997) (PDF)
23 Stoppard. The Invention of Love. (1997) (cont.)
24 Student Paper Presentations