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acts and scenes

the basic units of drama


a brief remark in which a character expresses private thoughts to the audience rather than to other characters

blank verse

unrhymed iambic pentameter


a play with a happy ending; the protagonist wins


the good guy


the bad guy

dramatic effect

illusion of reality in a play's performance

dramatic irony

occurs when another character(s) and/or the audience know more than one or more characters on stage about what is happening

dramatic monologue

where a character gives a long speech explaining his or her feelings, actions, emotions


the continuation of meaning, without pause or break, from one line of poetry to the next


a character who sets off another character by contrast

heroic couplet

two lines of rhyming iambic pentameter


movable objects that actors use on stage


a play on words, often achieved through the use of words with similar sounds but different meanings

rhyme scheme

the pattern of rhyme in a poem


14 line rhyming poem


form of literature in which irony, sarcasm, and ridicule are employed to attack human vice and folly


play's text, containing dialogue and stage directions


constructions indicating where the drama takes place

situational irony

discrepancy between what is expected, as in action or as regards to the situation/setting, and what one would expect to happen


in drama, a character speaks alone on stage to allow his/her thoughts and ideas to be conveyed to the audience

stage directions

provide details about sets, lighting, sound effects, props, costumes, and acting


describing one kind of sensation in terms of another, thus mixing senses: "How sweet the sound"


using one part of an object to represent the entire object (for example, referring to a car simply as "wheels")


insight into life, the truth about life or human nature as revealed through a literary work


a work in which the protagonist, a person of high degree is engaged in a significant struggle and which ends in ruin or destruction

tragic flaw

the character flaw or error of a tragic hero that leads to his downfall

verbal irony

occurs when what is said contradicts what is meant or thought

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