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Tutor profile: Luke M.

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Luke M.
Dramatic Writing Student at NYU
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

What are some tactics one can employ to avoid writing in the passive voice as they attempt to express their ideas?

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Luke M.
Answer:

The passive voice is typically recognized in the use of linking verb and gerund combinations such as "was running". In academic essays a writer should be sure to use the active voice and to replace linking verbs with more active ones. By eliminating gerunds as much as possible, once can keep up the pace of their work and diversify their verbage while they express ideas.

Subject: Shakespeare

TutorMe
Question:

How did Shakespeare's "Hamlet" depart from the traditional revenge play structure, and what effect did this take on the play's thematic content?

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Luke M.
Answer:

Prince Hamlet is a character bent on revenge who can not commit the act necessary to satisfy his urge. The traditional revenge plot as exhibited in Thomas Kyd's "Spanish Tragedy" finds in Hieronimo, a hero who is burdened with and immediately carries out the awful task of avenging the ones he loves. This is an expression of praxis in playwriting and fulfills in the immediate course of the story the audience's cathartic wish. Shakespeare freezes Hamlet in the typical engine of the revenge plot, and in his inability to take revenge we find a character in total self-torment over inaction.

Subject: Film and Theater

TutorMe
Question:

How did Bertholdt Brecht break with contemporary playwriting conventions and why did he employ these new tactics?

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Luke M.
Answer:

Bertholdt Brecht's plays included sudden fourth wall breaking monologues and songs, stripped down set pieces, and title cards that referenced the current scene. All of these elements combined to create "Verfremdungseffekt" (translated today as distancing effect, alienation effect, or just v-effect). This tactic actively kept audiences from being too entranced by the story by breaking them out of the play's rhythm, allowing the political message of his work to come to the fore.

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