Essential Elements of Drama

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FINAL PERIOD

ELEMENTS OF DRAMA
Drama comes from Greek words meaning "to do" or "to act." A play is a story acted out. It shows people going through some eventful period in their lives, seriously or humorously. The speech and action of a play recreate the flow of human life. A play comes fully to life only on the stage. On the stage it combines many arts those of the author, director, actor, designer, and others. Dramatic performance involves an intricate process of rehearsal based upon imagery inherent in the dramatic text. A playwright first invents a drama out of mental imagery. The dramatic text presents the drama as a range of verbal imagery. The language of drama can range between great extremes: on the one hand, an intensely theatrical and ritualistic manner; and on the other, an almost exact reproduction of real life. A dramatic monologue is a type of lyrical poem or narrative piece that has a person speaking to a select listener and revealing his character in a dramatic situation. ELEMENTS OF DRAMA

The essential elements of drama are:
CHARACTER : Most simply a character is one of the persons who appears in the play, one of the dramatis personae (literally, the persons of the play). In another sense of the term, the treatment of the character is the basic part of the playwright's work. Conventions of the period and the author's personal vision will affect the treatment of character. Most plays contain major characters and minor characters. The development of major characters is essential to the play; the conflict between Hamlet and Claudius depends upon the character of each. A minor character like Marcellus serves a specific function, to inform Hamlet of the appearance of his father's ghost. He can depart, after having done that, in peace and we need not know what sort of person he is or what happens to him. The distinction between major and minor characters is one of degree, as the character of Horatio might illustrate. The distinction between heroes (or heroines) and villains, between good guys and bad guys, between virtue and vice is useful in dealing with certain types of plays, but in many modern plays (and some not so modern) it is difficult to make. PLOT : It refers to the order of the events that happen in a play. In actuality it refers to what happens rather than what it means. The plot is usually structured with acts and scenes and the action and movement in the play begins from the initial entanglement, through rising action, climax, and falling action to resolution. The interest generated by the plot varies for different kinds of plays. The plot of the drama is shown in the `through-line` of the drama - its beginning, middle and end - although it does not have to be presented in a linear structure. The characters in a play are also part of the plot. The action of the drama consists in the events that the characters take part in as they act the play. The content of the drama lies in the themes it deals with. Bullying, the responsibilities of power and the bravery of ordinary people are examples. THEME : The plot has been called the body of a play and the theme has been called its soul. Most plays have a conflict of some kind between individuals, between man and society, man and some superior force or man and himself. The events that this conflict provokes make up the plot. One of the first items of interest is the playwrights’ treatment of the plot and what he would draw from it. The same plots have been and will be used many times; it is the treatment that supplies each effort with originality or artistic worth. Shakespeare is said to have borrowed all but one of his stories, but he presented them so much better than any of the previous authors that he is not seriously criticized for the borrowing. The treatment of theme is equally varied. The same theme or story may be given a very serious or a very light touch. It may be a severe indictment or a tongue-in- cheek attack. It could point up a...
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