Topics for Further Study

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  • Research the five stages of death as defined by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her book On Death and Dying. Did Vivian Bearing go through these five stages? Provide examples of her dialogue in which you see each of these stages presented.
  • Find reliable information from organizations such as the National Cancer Society and National Institutes of Health on the statistics of ovarian cancer. Prepare a paper on the most up-to-date medical research on this topic. Include information on the number of diagnosed cases over the past five years; the definitions of all four stages of the disease; the most recent findings in regard to chemical treatment; and the warning signs and recommended precautions, if any, for women who are concerned about this disease.
  • Research the technique referred to as metaheater. In which of Shakespeare's plays can you find an element that could be called metatheater? Can you find any modern plays that also use this technique? A similar technique could be used in a work of fiction, where a character steps outside the novel and directs his comments directly to the reader. Can you find any novels that employ this technique?
  • Read John Donne's poem "Death Be Not Proud." Compare Donne's sentiments in this poem and the way he talks about death to the way that Vivian Bearing thinks about and ultimately faces her death.
  • Patients' rights, especially in the sphere of the right to die, is currently an important topic both for members of the medical profession m the application of medical ethics and for patients themselves. Find several different lists of patients' rights, and, after comparing them, compose a list of your own. If you have difficulty searching under patients' rights, try a search under medical ethics.
  • Research the Pulitzer Prize, then do one of the following: Write a paper on Joseph Pulitzer. Choose another Pulitzer Prize-winning play from another decade and compare that play to Wit in terms of how the culture of the times surrounding the play affected the main themes of each play. Research the Nobel Prize and compare the backgrounds and philosophies of the two prizes.

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