The German romantic playwright, philosopher, and critic Johann Wolfgang von Goet

The German romantic playwright, philosopher, and critic Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) offered a simple formula for play analysis that has been used for hundreds of years.
1. What is the artist trying to do?
This question will help determine the direction of your analysis. If you understand the intention of the artist, you will understand the reasons for his or her choices. Put aside your opinion of the play and identify the artist’s purpose. What is the artist trying to say? What is the artist’s goal? Can you explain why the artist chose to bring this particular work into being?
2. How well has the artist done it?
By answering this question, you judge the degree of success the artist has achieved in achieving the goal you identified in answer to the first question. How do the artist’s techniques, methods, and talents help to achieve the goal? How effective is the play in fulfilling the artist’s intention?
3. Is it worth doing?
The final question is whether the finished work of art was worth the artist’s and the audience’s time and effort. Does the play have new, interesting ideas? Will it help us understand the world, or understand it in a new way? If it didn’t communicate to you, did it communicate to anyone else?
For example, a standard response should follow this outline:
– Paragraph One: Introduction
– Paragraph Two: What is the playwright trying to say?
Why this title?
What are the themes?
Is it realistic? If not, why choose to tell a story this way? If
so, how does it tell the story?
GIVE EXAMPLES
-Paragraph Three: How well is the playwright doing it?
• Give at least three specific examples of moments in the
play.
– Paragraph Four: Was it worth writing / reading?
• Give at least three specific examples of moments in the play.
– Paragraph Five: Conclusion