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work designed to be rep on stage by actors. or a serious play dealing w/ impt problems

dramatis personae

list of chars at beginning of play

pathetic fallacy

artistic device whereby nature reflects a char's feelings or mood of events in the literature. nature mirrors human emotion


single ficstional speaker gives an extended speech, either as if alone or as if speaking to audience.

interior monologue

depiction of thoughts/feelings that flow, w/ no apparent logic, thru mind of a character


quality in a work of lit that evokes feelings of pity, tenderness, and sympathy from reader


play which evokes laughter by devices of low comedy (eg physical buffoonery, rough wit, ridiculous situations, slapstick behavior)


play of extremes; little subtlety or complexity of character

blank verse

unrhymed iambic pentameter


char says something privately to another char

comic relief

humorous scene, incident, remark that evokes laughter as a release from tension

iambic pentameter

ten syllables; stressed/unstressed syllables


concluding action of a drama


originally group of maksed male dancers who sand/chanted as part of ceremonies in Greek drama, reduced to single figure in Elizabethan dramas


literary work w/ happy ending; modern=funny, shakespeare=happy ending


drama exciting pity/fear.

tragic hero

potential for greatness, person is pre-eminently virtuous and just, but misfortune is brought about by error in judgement. has flaw; contributes to destruction. potential not achieved bc of tragic flaw and fate.

tragic flaw

serious fault that leads to protagonists' death/downfall


hero's tragic flaw being pride to excess


terror/pity felt by audience of tragedy produces catharsis; cleansing/purifying of emotion. audience feels empty/limp.

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