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What is a Drama? How Does Drama Differ from Fiction?

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Presentation on theme: "What is a Drama? How Does Drama Differ from Fiction?"— Presentation transcript:

1 What is a Drama? How Does Drama Differ from Fiction?

2 The Dramatist’s Goal is The Willing Suspension of Disbelief. How is this achieved? The Dramatist’s Goal is The Willing Suspension of Disbelief. How is this achieved? Convincing sets and props, which allow the audience to believe they are immersed in the time and place the play features. Convincing sets and props, which allow the audience to believe they are immersed in the time and place the play features. Realistic Dialogue ( verbal and physical): this is how you show in the place of telling Realistic Dialogue ( verbal and physical): this is how you show in the place of telling Action that keeps the audience’s attention Action that keeps the audience’s attention

3 What Other Tools Does a Dramatist Use to Keep an Audience’s Attention? What Other Tools Does a Dramatist Use to Keep an Audience’s Attention? Conflict, Complications, and Plot Twists Conflict, Complications, and Plot Twists Surprise Surprise Ambiguity (character and situational): forces participation Ambiguity (character and situational): forces participation

4 Narrative vs. Dramatic Telling Telling Setting is Imagined or Described Setting is Imagined or Described Emphasis is multi-faceted Emphasis is multi-faceted Action is Described: Participation= evaluating the perspective of the person sharing the information Action is Described: Participation= evaluating the perspective of the person sharing the information Showing Showing Setting is Illustrated Setting is Illustrated Emphasis is on Dialogue, as action, which includes physical dialogue and silences. Emphasis is on Dialogue, as action, which includes physical dialogue and silences. Action in Real Time: Participation= figuring out who is dissembling Action in Real Time: Participation= figuring out who is dissembling Differences Between Plays and Other forms of Writing 1. Stories describe what people do, while plays show what people do. 2. Action is the main ingredient of a play, and dialogue is considered action in plays. 3. Unity of Time: Time is much more elastic in fiction. A play deals with one or several units of time and gives the effect of real time passing. 4. Unity of Place: the setting is more restricted in plays. Fiction can feature many settings, but a play should be restricted to only several at most. 5. Fiction is complete when written, while a play’s script is only a blueprint for the final product.

5 The Six Main Elements of Drama Plot, Character, Thought, Music, Diction, Spectacle

6 I. Plot The actions that stem from conflicts and feature character exchanges and choices. In a dramatic work, each character advances the plot in some way. The actions that stem from conflicts and feature character exchanges and choices. In a dramatic work, each character advances the plot in some way.

7 II. Character Dramatic Works Emphasize specific things about the main characters: Their desires How they react to obstacles What other characters think about them, and how they relate to them Just enough about their past to hint at the aforementioned Their appearance is generally revealed rather than described. However, characters may describe one another when their perception is vital to the plot. For example, in Shakespeare’s Othello, the title character is often attacked for his ethnicity. In Act One, before we even meet Othello, we learn a "Moor," or "his Moorship" or "thick lips (1.1.66)" is the subject of the tragedy. Iago and Roderigo demean him by referring to him as a "black ram“ (1.1.88) and a "Barbary horse“ ( ). Othello's blackness is a central theme of the play, so it is emphasized by the other characters.l

8 III. Dialogue In plays, dialogue is not idle conversation. Dramatic dialogue should only be included if it advances the plot, develops characterization, or both. In plays, dialogue is not idle conversation. Dramatic dialogue should only be included if it advances the plot, develops characterization, or both. Definition: William Packard defined dialogue as "the rapid back and forth exchange that takes place between onstage characters" and noted that hat "good dramatic dialogue always advances the major actions of the play“ ( qtd. in Lynch) Definition: William Packard defined dialogue as "the rapid back and forth exchange that takes place between onstage characters" and noted that hat "good dramatic dialogue always advances the major actions of the play“ ( qtd. in Lynch) Conventions of Dramatic Dialogue: Conventions of Dramatic Dialogue: –It is natural, ex: most people seldom speak in whole sentences. –Each character speaks in unique patterns, with individualized vocabulary patterns and subjects of interest. –As Carol Korty once noted, the "words of the whole play are like a piece of music- they create sounds, rhythms, tones that are heard and physically felt. They also create images. In this way, dialogue is also poetry, whether or not it rhymes or has a definite meter“ (Qtd. in Lynch)

9 Dialogue Part II: Monologues Definition: Definition: --A monologue is a type of dialogue in which one character offers an extended speech. When it is directed toward someone or something off stage, it is called a soliloquy. Benefits: Benefits: --Monologues offer a means of presenting background material, on what has occurred in the past, or what will occur in the future. --In monologues, characters also reveal their hidden emotional states, dreams, wishes, problems, fears, conflicts, and feelings about other characters. YouTube - Hamlet Act 3, Scene 1

10 Adapted from: Adapted from: Lynch, Dory. Drama Overview. Fall, Oct Lynch, Dory. Drama Overview. Fall, Oct


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