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28 terms

Terminology for Drama

STUDY
PLAY
Hubris
Tragic flaw in the form of extreme pride, leading to overconfidence. Leads to fall at the end.
Tragic Hero
A man of noble stature who is admired by society, but flawed.
Hamartia
The hero's error, transgression, or weakness of character, inevitable the hero must fall.
Classic Tragedy
Portrays a conflict between the tragic hero and some overwhelming force. Such forces include the gods, fate, fortune, or circumstances. The character, of nobility, falls from a great height as the result of hubris or hamartia. (Nobility is admired by society.)
Melodrama
A play usually containing stock characters, either totally good or totallyl bad. Usually involves suspense, physical action, and predictable plot and resolution.
Expressionism
Dramas that depict the emotional state of characters though exaggerated set designs, makeup, and costumes. Extensive use of angles and shadows in staging.
Realism
An attempt to represent the appearance of life as it really is, especially that of ordinary people.
Naturalism
A kind of realism dealing with the more brutal aspects of reality. The characters tend to be viewed as creatures whose acts as are determined by heredity and environment.
Theatre of the Absurd
Drama that points to the absurdity and meaninglessness of the human condition, frequently employing unrealistic characters and untradtional dramatic devices.
Tragic Flaw
When a protagonist's reversal of fortune is brought about through some error or weakness on his part.
Satiric Comedy
Type of comedy where human weakness or folly is ridiculed from a vantage point of supposedly enlightened superiority. It may be coolly malicious and gently biting, but it tends to be critical of people, their manners and their morals.
High Comedy
This type of comedy relies on wit and wordplay than on physical action for its humor. It tries to address the audience's intelligence by pointing out the pretension and hypocrisy of human behavior.
Epigram
A brief witty statement that memorably expresses some truth, large or small. (i.e. Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes. or There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."
Comedy of Manner
A witty satire set in elite or fashionable society. This was popular in the "Restoration Period."
Low Comedy
Explores the opposite extreme of humor. It places greater emphasis on physical action and visual gags, and its verbal jokes do not require much intellect to appreciate (i.e Chico, Groucho Marx). It does not avoid derisive humor; rather, it revels in making fun of whatever will get a good laugh. It also serves as a valuable purose in satirizing human failings.
Burlesque
A broadly humorous parody or travesty of another play or kind of play.
Farce
A broadly humorous play whose action is usually fast-moving and improbable.
Romantic Comedy
Its main characters are generally lovers, and its plot unfolds their ultimately successful strivings to be united. Unlike satiric comedy, romantic comedy portrays its characters not w/watering contempt but w/kindly indulgence.
Tragedy
A play that portrays a serious conflict between human beings and some superior, overwhelming force. It ends sorrowfully and disastrously, and this outcome seems inevitable.
Slapstick Comedy
Its a kind of farce, where pratfalls, pie-throwing, fisticuffs - like the Three Stooges.
Satyr Play
An obscene parody of a mythic story.
Prologue
A preparatory scene.
Parados
The song for the entrance of the chorus.
Episodes
These are like acts or scenes in modern plays.
Masks
Actors wore these - some of them were exaggerated mouthpieces, possibly to project speech.
Cothurni
High-thick elevator shoes that made them appear taller than ordinary men.
Drama
(from notes) Is a form of fiction and it began in ancient greeks.
Plays
(from notes) are meant for spectators not readers. They were produced for religious reasons.