Topics for Further Study

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Research the history of Europe in World War I and the immediate postwar years. How do these events relate to the world the Capeks portray in Act III? Do the actions and attitudes of the Ant Realm predict subsequent events?

Read the fables of Aesop, which often use animal characters to make their point. Compare and contrast these fables with the Capeks’s play.

Pick one of the insect species depicted in The Insect Play and do research into its entomology (the scientific study of insects). How do the real behaviors of insects compare to the way the Capeks depict them?

Compare and contrast the anthropomorphized insects in The Insect Play with the human-like robots in Karel Capek’s seminal play R.U.R. (1921). What does each depiction of nonhumans with human-like characteristics reveal about the authors’ take on humankind?

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