Consists of a series of actions meant to be performed on a stage by
live actors for a live audience. Because
the audience always collaborates with the playwright, it is the most
communal, collaborative form of literature.
is similar to fiction in many ways*
When the actual outcome of the plot is the opposite or different
from the expected outcome.
When a character says words that have a hidden meaning
understandable to the audience but of which s/he is unaware.
Plot: Action of the play.
The introduction of characters, setting, and background information
Part of the play leading to the climax.
Climax: Highest emotional peak of the play: turning point where the
opposing forces meet.
Immediately following the climax.
Dénouement: Literally, 'unknotting.' The final unraveling of a
plot; the solution of a mystery; an explanation or outcome. Also known as the conclusion.
Complication: Tends to be the middle part of the play where the problem(s)
facing the characters tends to develop.
Dilemma: A very difficult decision in which both choices have equally
Conflict: Struggle between opposing forces.
Internalà Takes place within the character
Externalà Takes place between the character and outside
There are three fundamental methods of characterization
(1) What the author tells us about the character
Round character: Fully developed &
One that does not change.
drama is written to be performed though, it has specific characteristics
that differentiate it from other literary genres like fiction and poetry*
Playwright: Author of a play.
Script: Written form of a play.
Includes dialogue, stage directions, and may be divided into scenes
Dialogue: Speech between actors in a play.
Monologues: Long speeches given by an individual actor on stage to other
actors or the audience.
Soliloquy: Speech given by a lone character on stage.
Aside: Statement meant for the audience or a single character, but
not by other characters on the stage (Malcolm in the Middle, The Bernie
Notes provided by the playwright to describe how something should
be presented or performed. They may describe entrances / exits, movement, facial
expressions, vocal qualities, gestures, etc. Stage directions
include elements of the spectacle: lighting, music, sound effects, costumes, props, or set
designs. Spectacle is
specific to drama—it is what SHOWS the action vs. TELLING.
Blocking: How the actors move or are positioned around the space.
Act: Major division of a play—often includes scenes.
Scene: Smaller division within an act—usually marked by the
entrance of one or more characters.
An audience’s willingness to accept the world of the drama as
reality during the course of a play.
Catharsis: The emotional release audiences should feel after watching a