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Atsumori By Zeami Motokiyo

Atsumori By Zeami Motokiyo


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Atsumori By Zeami Motokiyo

Reading Response

Reading Responses are 2-page essays. You will respond and analyze the play Atsumori by Zeami Motokiyo, then synthesize your ideas with the points brought up during class discussion.

You may provide a brief summary (no more than a paragraph) of the play, then form a cohesive essay that responds to (some of) the following questions:

– What is the play about not just the plot summary, but its overarching theme? Did you understand it? If not, what questions do you have?
– What do you like about the play? What do you dislike about it? Why?
– Critique the writing style and development of character and narrative. What are some literary themes, symbols, and fictional/poetic/dramatic techniques deployed? Was the playwright successful?
– Can you relate to this play in your own life and experience? Why or why

These are merely some jumping-off points. Dont just follow this same formula for all your reading responses, and dont just type up a bulleted/numbered list. A formal thesis isnt necessarily required, but your essay ought to be focused to an extent. Title the response something more clever and/or relevant than just Reading Response #1 or the title of the play. Find your own process, use your own creativity, and respond to the pieces in a way thats meaningful to you.


– Prove your familiarity and connection to the text by citing literary evidence that bolsters the focus of your essay. Which parts of the play best exemplify your particular thesis/focus?

– You must directly cite TWO lines/passages from the play to back up your opinions. Pick at least two excerpts from each play, and set off the verbatim (word-for-word) material in quotation marks. Dont let the quotation float alone though; connect the quotation to your own writing with a LAUNCH STATEMENT and non-terminal punctuation (usually a comma or a colon for block quotes). The launch statement may be an in-text citation, which reveals the author and title of the piece within your body of text, or it can be some other sentence of introduction or analysis.

Generally use in-text citations the first time you mention a piece. Provide specific page number(s) in parentheses if applicable. Use full parenthetical citations (Author Page #) after youve already introduced the piece in your own body of text.

Secondary research is not required or allowed. I want to see evidence of YOUR UNDERSTANDING of the text, use your opinion about the play, not just a summary or analysis from Wikipedia, SparkNotes,, or other sites that provide plagiarized essays. Dont forget the Works Cited list!


Format all Reading Responses in MLA style:
– 12-point Times New Roman, double-spaced.
– MS Word usually defaults to 1.25-inch margins on left and right and 1-inch
margins on top and bottom.
– Heading at top left includes your name, my name, class, date (dd month
yyyy). Please spell both our names correctly.
– Header at top right includes your last name and page number in 12-point
Times New Roman. No other punctuation, symbols, or words necessary.
– If you take a direct quote from our texts, documentation in the form of in-
text/parenthetical citations and Works Cited list is required.
– Keep in mind that the WCL is not a separate document; its just the last page
of the document, so a new heading isnt necessary.


Title: Reading Response

Pages: 2

Style: MLA

Paper Review

Atsumori By Zeami Motokiyo.

Atsumori, a play written by Zeami Motokiyo, tells an account of a battle between two rival clans Japan in late 12th century. A teenager, Atsumori, who is cultured, is killed by the army general Waki. After the killing, the general is overwhelmed by guiltiness making him leave the army to become a priest.  After some years, Waki meets Atsumori’s ghost with a recount of their war. Atsumori’s ghost was on a mission to behead Waki, but because Waki has spent years praying and wishing Atsumori well, he drops his sword. Atsumori forgives Waki, and they both achieved salvation. The play tries to emphasize the Buddhist values, meditation and enlightenment of individuals in the society. Human transformations are a major issue highlighted with a warrior becoming a priest and an enemy becoming a friend. Also, the play also highlights the arts of the culture comprising of rituals, choral singing, and flute playing.

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