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Glossary of Drama Terms
Terms in this set (56)
the repetition of consonant sounds, especially at the beginning of words
A character or force against which another character struggles
Words spoken by an actor directly to the audience, which are not "heard" by the other characters on stage during a play.
The repetition of similar vowel sounds within a sentence or a line of poetry or prose
the action at the end of a tragedy that initiates the falling action of a play
the purging of pity and fear that, according to Aristotle, occur in the audience of tragic drama. The audience experiences this at the end of the play following the catastrophe
an imaginary person within a literary work. Literary __________ may be major or secondary, static (unchanging) or dynamic (capable of change), flat (one-sided) or round (many-sided)
The means by which writers present and reveal character. Writers typically reveal characters through their speech, dress, manner, and actions
A group of characters in Greek tragedy (and in later forms of drama), who comment on the action of a play without participation in it.
the turning point of the action in the plot of a play or story. The ___________ represents the point of greatest tension in the work
A type of drama in which the characters experience reversals of fortune, usually for the better. In ____________, things work out happily in the end
the use of a comic scene to interrupt intensely tragic dramatic moments
An intensification of the conflict in a story or play. It builds up, accumulates, and develops the primary or central conflict in a literary work
A struggle between opposing forces in a story of play, usually resolved by the end of the work. The _________ may occur within a character as well as between characters.
The resolution of the plot of a literary work.
the conversation between characters in a literary work. In play, characters' speech is preceded by their names
The selection of words in a literary work.
The first stage of a fictional or dramatic plot, in which necessary background information is provided.
in the plot of a story or play, the action following the climax of the work that moves it towards its resolution
An imagined story, whether in prose, poetry, or drama.
A form of language use in which writers and speakers convey something other than the literal meaning of their words.
An interruption of a work's chronology to describe or present an incident that occurred prior to the main time frame of a work's action.
A character who contrasts and parallels the main character in a play or story.
Hints of what is to come in the action of a play or a story.
The physical movement of a character during a play. _______________ is used to reveal character, and may include facial expressions as well as movements of other parts of an actor's body. sometimes a playwright will be very explicit about both bodily and facial _______________, providing detailed instructions in the play's stage directions.
A figure of speech involving exaggeration
anything appealing to the five senses. May be used to develop motif, symbolism, theme, and so forth
a contrast or discrepancy. In verbal ______________, characters say the opposite of what they mean. In situational _______________, the opposite of what is expected occurs. In dramatic _____________, a character speaks in ignorance of a situation or event known to the audience or to the other characters
A comparison between essentially unlike things without an explicitly comparative word such as like or as.
a speech by a single character without another character's response
The voice and implied speaker of a fictional work, to be distinguished from the actual living author.
the use of words that imitate sounds they describe. Often, however, this refers to words and groups of words, such as Tennyson's description of the "murmur fo innumerable bees," which attempts to capture the sound of bees swarming.
A quality of a play's action that stimulates the audience to feel pity for a character. this is always an aspect of tragedy, and may be present in comedy as well
The endowment of inanimate objects or abstract concepts with animate or living qualities.
The unified structure of incidents in a literary work.
point of view
the angle of vision from which a story is narrated
Articles or objects that appear on stage during a play.
the main character in a literary work
The point at which a character understands his or her situation as it really is.
The sorting out or unraveling of a plot at the end of a play, novel, or story.
A set of conflicts and crises that constitute the part of a play's or story's plot leading up to the climax.
The time and place of a literary work that establish its context.
A figure of speech involving a comparison between unlike things using like, as, or as though.
A speech in a play that is meant to be heard by the audience but not by other characters on the stage. If there are no other characters present, the ______________ represents the character thinking aloud
A playwright's descriptive or interpretive comments that provide readers (and actors) with information about the dialogue, setting, and action of a play.
The spectacle a play presents in performance, including the position of actors on stage, the scenic background, the props and costumes, and the lighting and sound effects.
The way an author chooses words, arranges them in sentences or in lines of dialogue or verse, and develops ideas and actions with description, imagery, and other literary techniques. ( this includes connotation, denotation, diction, figurative language, imagery, etc)
What a story or play is about; to be distinguished from plot and theme.
A parallel or smaller plot that coexists with the main plot
An object or action in a literary work that means more than itself, that stands for something beyond itself.
the main idea of a literary work drawn from its details of language, character, and action, presented, in the form of a generalization
The implied attitude of a writer toward the subject and characters of a work
A type of drama in which the characters experience reversals of fortune, usually for the worse.
A weakness or limitation of character, resulting in the fall of the tragic hero.
A privileged, exalted character of high repute, who, by virtue of a tragic flaw and fate, suffers a fall from glory into suffering.
A figure of speech in which a writer or speaker says less than what he or she means; the opposite of exaggeration.
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