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Ch 7: CSET English IV: Plays and Playwrights

About This Chapter

Use this chapter to learn about the major English language playwrights and their work. With video lessons and self-assessment quizzes, you can acquire the knowledge you need to ace questions about plays on the CSET English test.

CSET English IV: Plays and Playwrights - Chapter Summary

This chapter's lessons explore English speaking playwrights and their works over the last 400 or so years. Starting with William Shakespeare and ending in the 20th century, the videos cover important dramatists and the characteristics of their plays. You'll also get a look at their lives and at the issues that may have influenced their writings. By the conclusion of the chapter, you should be familiar with:

  • Shakespeare's life and works
  • The poems and plays of Ben Johnson and his relationship with Shakespeare
  • Christopher Marlowe: his life and works
  • Waiting for Godot and its plot, style and characters
  • Life story, works and style of Tennessee Williams
  • Biography and major plays of Arthur Miller
  • Oscar Wilde: plays, novels and sexuality
  • Samuel Beckett: biography, plays and novels
  • The life and major works of Eugene O'Neill

These lessons, led by talented instructors, will give you a solid overview of major plays and playwrights in preparation for the test. With this knowledge, you'll be well-versed on their lives, works and impacts.

CSET English IV: Plays and Playwrights Objectives

All California teachers who want to work in a particular subject must pass the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET). The topics covered in the Plays and Playwrights chapter are part of the CSET English Subset IV test, the final portion of the CSET English test. Subset IV, which covers speech, media and creative performance, consists of four short-response questions. The other three parts of the CSET English test are made up of 100 multiple-choice questions and two extended-response questions. Self-assessment quizzes at the end of each lesson allow you to test your knowledge and become familiar with the format of the test.

9 Lessons in Chapter 7: CSET English IV: Plays and Playwrights
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Introduction to Shakespeare: Life and Works

1. Introduction to Shakespeare: Life and Works

This video provides a crash course introduction to William Shakespeare's life, plays, and poetry. From 'Two Gentlemen of Verona' to 'The Tempest', we'll give you a timeline of his works and quick descriptions of what you need to know to identify them.

Introduction to Ben Jonson: Poems, Plays and Shakespeare

2. Introduction to Ben Jonson: Poems, Plays and Shakespeare

To a great deal of people, for a great deal of time, English playwright and poet Ben Jonson was known merely as a rival (and inferior) to William Shakespeare. But there's more to the story than that! Watch our video lesson to get the skinny on Jonson's life and work.

Introduction to Christopher Marlowe: Biography and Plays

3. Introduction to Christopher Marlowe: Biography and Plays

English playwright Christopher Marlowe was a contemporary of Shakespeare with a short but potent body of work to his name. Learn all about his plays - and his fascinating character - from our video lesson!

Waiting for Godot:  Plot, Characters, and Style

4. Waiting for Godot: Plot, Characters, and Style

In this lesson, we'll explore Samuel Beckett's groundbreaking play, Waiting for Godot. We'll look at its main characters, Vladimir and Estragon, and hear an example of their circular, sometimes nonsensical banter. We'll also briefly discuss the play's legacy in modern theater.

Tennessee Williams: Biography, Works, and Style

5. Tennessee Williams: Biography, Works, and Style

This lesson provides insight into the life, work and style of one of the most influential playwrights of our time, Tennessee Williams. His major works include 'A Streetcar Named Desire' and 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.'

Arthur Miller: Biography and Major Plays

6. Arthur Miller: Biography and Major Plays

In this lesson, we will talk about the life of one of America's greatest playwrights, Arthur Miller. We will take a close look at his role in the American political scene of the 1950s and give insight into some of his most influential works.

Introduction to Oscar Wilde: Plays, Novels, and Sexuality

7. Introduction to Oscar Wilde: Plays, Novels, and Sexuality

From ''The Picture of Dorian Gray'' to the ''Importance of Being Earnest'', Oscar Wilde left an indelible mark on literature and theater. In this lesson, you'll learn all about the Victorian author.

Introduction to Samuel Beckett: Life, Plays, and Novels

8. Introduction to Samuel Beckett: Life, Plays, and Novels

This video will introduce the late modernist author and playwright Samuel Beckett. A close friend of James Joyce, Beckett's works typically portray a meaningless, absurd existence. This is epitomized in his most famous work, 'Waiting for Godot.'

Eugene O'Neill: Biography and Major Plays

9. Eugene O'Neill: Biography and Major Plays

Winner of four Pulitzer Prizes and one Nobel Prize, playwright Eugene O'Neill is a major figure in American drama. In this lesson, we'll look at his tumultuous life and review the most notable plays from his acclaimed career.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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