45 terms

Drama Terminology 1&2

STUDY
PLAY
Accent
In verse, refers to the stressed portion of a word. Ex: To BE or NOT to be
Act
Major division in the action of a play; first introduced by Elizabethan dramatists
Action
The ordering of the events of a story, particularly towards the achievement of some effect
Antagonist
Character or force that opposes or clocks the protagonist
Anthropomorphism
When inanimate objects, animals, or natural phenomena are given human characteristics, behavior, or motivation, much like personification. The two are almost identical, but anthropomorphism is more direct and obvious in the way it has become human, whereas personification is more subtle.
Anticlimax
Occurs when an action produces far smaller results than one had been led to expect.
Aside
When a character says something privately to another character while other characters are also on stage; sometimes addressed to the audience, as if breaking the action on stage
Atmosphere
The emotional tone or background that surrounds a scene
Ballad
A long narrative poem usually in very regular meter and rhyme
Black humor
The use of disturbing scenes in comedy
Chorus
In drama, a chorus is a group of citizens who stand outside the main action on stage and comment on it.
Comedy
a literary work, especially a play, characterized by a happy resolution
Comedy of Manners
Literary work characterized by the intrigues of people living in a sophisticated society
Comic relief
A humorous scene, incident, or remark within a serious tragic drama that envokes laughter as a release from the tension of the serious action and follows scenes of intense emotion
Confidant
A trusted friend or servant; a device for revealing the inner thoughts of a main character
Dirge
A song for the dead-typically slow, heavy, melancholy
Dialect
A way of speaking of a social/cultural group or the inhabitants of a geographical area
Dialogue
When two or more speakers speak to one another; the spoken exchanges that comprise a play
Epilogue
Short poem or speech spoken directly to the audience following the conclusion of a play
Epiphany
A major character's moment of realization or awareness
External Conflict
Struggle that exists between people, between a person and nature/machine, or a person and society
Farce
A type of comedy in which ridiculous characters are involved in silly situations
Foil
A character whose trains are the opposite of another and thus pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of that character
Genres
a division of literature that categorized a piece into its particular form (Ex: drama, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, biography, etc.)
in medias res
Latin for "in the midst of things" (Ex: when The Iliad begins, the Trojan War has already been going on for seven years.)
internal conflict
A struggle involving the opposing forces in a person's mind
melodrama
A play in which heightened emotion, plot and action are emphasized instead of characters
Mise-en-scene
refers to everything that appears on stage: sets, props, actors, costumes, and lighting
Monologue
A long formal speech made by a character in a play (made to other characters on stage).
Myth
A traditional story that serves to explain the mysteries of nature or a society's beliefs
nemesis
The protagonist's archenemy or supreme and persistent difficulty (Lord Vold to Harry Potter)
Orchestra
A space where the chorus would dance/sing/interact with actors who were on the stage
Plot
A series of related events that made up a story or drama
Prologue
A piece of writing usually composed to introduce a drama
Protagonist
The main character in a piece of fiction
Requiem
A song of prayer for the dead
rising action
Refers to the dynamic period after the exposition, when conflict has been introduced
ritual
A set of actions performed mainly for their symbolic value, prescribed by a community
Scene
A minor division of a theatrical play
Soliloquy
A long speech in which a character alone onstage expresses his or her private thoughts
Subplot
sometimes referred to as a "B story" often involving supporting characters (king/duke in Huck Finn)
suspension of disbelief
the demand made of a theatre audience to accept the limitations of staging and supply the details with imagination. Also, the acceptance on an audience's part of the incidents of plot. If there are too many coincidences or improbable occurrences, the audience can no longer suspend disbelief and subsequently loses interest.
tragedy
A play depicturing serious/important events in which the protagonist has an unhappy end (Romeo/Juliet)
tragic flaw
In a tragedy, this is the weakness of a character in an otherwise good (or even great) individual that ultimately leads to his demise. (Achieles heel and Icarus' need to fly too high)
Tragicomedy
A serious play with a happy ending
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