Common Dramatic Devices used by Dramatists

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Shows common devices dramatists use to obtain special effects.

Contrast

alternating humor and pathos, song and dialogue, tense and tranquil scenes.

Irony

lines having one meaning for the audience and another for the character to whom they are spoken.

Suspense

the feeling of not knowing for sure what will happen, but anticipating it.

Surprise

unexpected twist or turn.

Soliloquy

character speaking to the world in general with no other characters in the scene.

Aside

character speaking confidentially to the audience (often humorously) as if other characters cannot hear what is said.

Disguise

props to change the appearance of the character to fool other characters in the play.

Pause

an incident introduced just before the climax to mislead the audience.

Poetic Justice

letting the villain be punished and the hero reap reward.

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