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Reading & Studying Drama. Differentiation from prose fiction “There is a strong family resemblance between drama and prose fiction. Both genres are narrative.

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Presentation on theme: "Reading & Studying Drama. Differentiation from prose fiction “There is a strong family resemblance between drama and prose fiction. Both genres are narrative."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reading & Studying Drama

2 Differentiation from prose fiction “There is a strong family resemblance between drama and prose fiction. Both genres are narrative text types, and it is for this reason that the theory of drama and the theory of narrative texts cover a good deal of common ground” (Jahn D1.1) A play is a multimedial form designed to be staged in a public performance. A play is 'multimedial' in the sense that it uses both auditory and visual media: a play's audience has to use their eyes as well as their ears (a novel, in contrast, is a 'monomedial' form). (Pfister)

3 Narrative communication in drama From Manfred Jahn’s “A Guide to the Theory of Drama”, On the outer level, nonfictional communication occurs between playwright (primary author) and director, producer, actors, composer, etc. (secondary authors), based on the text. - On the intermediate level, fictional mediation sometimes occurs in plays using a narrator. - On the innermost level, fictional action occurs when the play’s characters communicate with each other, both verbally and nonverbally.

4 Freytag’s Pyramid (1965): Well-known timeline model describing the structure of a classical five-act tragedy; also applicable to other formats Define the elements above in A Streetcar Named Desire

5 Vocabulary I act: a major unit (or structural division) of a play aside: words spoken directly by actor to audience catastrophe: action at a tragedy’s end, initiating the denouement catharsis: purging of emotion (pity and fear) in a tragedy’s audience chorus (refrain) : characters in tragedy who comment but don’t participate denouement: the resolution of the plot at the end of a play deus ex machina: the resolution of a play’s conflict with supernatural intervention, or any artificial means dialogue: conversation between characters drama: literary composition intended to be performed by actors dramatic monologue: speech made by character to silent listener dramatis personae: the characters in a play (from Latin) exposition: first stage of a drama, providing background information falling action: action following climax, leading to denouement

6 Vocabulary II fourth wall: imaginary removed wall in play’s set gesture: physical movement by character during a play mise-en-scène: arra ngement of a play’s scenery to represent setting pathos: play’s action that stimulates pity in audience props: articles or objects appearing on stage rising action: conflicts and crises that lead up to a climax scene: subdivision of a play with fixed setting & continuous time script: the written (as opposed to performed) form of a play set: objects and backdrop making up a stage scenery soliloquy: a speech in a play meant to be heard by the audience, but not the other characters on the stage stage direction: playwright’s descriptive or interpretive comments staging: the spectacle a play presents on the stage tragedy: play involving reversal of fortune, characterized by suffering tragic hero: privileged, exalted character who suffers a fall from glory

7 Visualize the characters

8 Consider the setting

9 Play the director

10 Sources: those in boldface are the most informative hill.com/sites/ /student_view0/drama_glossa ry.html#reversal hill.com/sites/ /student_view0/drama_glossa ry.html#reversal re.php re.php stanley-kowalski stanley-kowalski


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