The Elements of Drama: Theme, Plot, Characters, Dialog, and More
The six Aristotelian elements of drama are, plot, character, thought, diction, spectacle, and song. Out of these, the first two are the most important ones according to Aristotle. Drama can be defined as a dramatic work that actors present on stage. BASIC FEATURES AND ELEMENTS OF DRAMA Drama is a display of emotions, a representation of relationships and the portrayal of the different phases of human life. It sketches different personalities and represents a wide variety of emotions through the different characters it portrays. Which of its components are identified as the elements of drama?
Despite the immense diversity of drama as a cultural activity, all plays have certain elements in common. The characters may be superhuman and godlike in appearance, speech, and deed or grotesque and ridiculous, perhaps even puppets, baic as long as they behave in even vaguely recognizable human ways the spectator can understand them. Only if they are too abstract do they cease to communicate as theatre. Thus, the figure of Death in medieval drama reasons like a human beingand a god in Greek tragedy or in Shakespeare talks arw any mortal.
A play, therefore, tells its tale by the imitation of human behaviour. The remoteness baskc nearness of that behaviour to ad real life of the audience can importantly affect the response of that audience: it may be in awe of what it sees, or it may laugh with detached what dementia does to the brain at clownish antics, flements it may feel sympathy.
The second essential is implicit in the first. A situation must be represented on the stage, one recognizable and believable to elments degree, which will animate the figures as it would in life.
Some argue that action is the primary factor in drama, and that character cannot emerge without it. Since no play exists without a situation, it appears impossible to detach the idea of a character from the situation in which he is placed, though it may seem possible after the experience of the whole play.
Whether the playwright conceives character before situation, or vice versa, is arbitrary. More relevant are the scope and scale of the character-in-situation—whether, for example, it is man confronting God or a man confronting his wife—for that comes closer to the kind of experience the play is offering its audience.
Even here one must beware of passing hasty judgment, for anf may be that the grandest design for heroic tragedy may be less affecting than the teasing vision of human madness portrayed in a good farce. A third factor is what are the basic features and elements of drama. Every play prescribes its own style, though it will be influenced by the traditions of its theatre and the wlements conditions of performance.
Style is not something imposed by actors upon the text after it is written, nor is it superficial to the business of the play. Rather, it is self-evident that a play will not communicate without it. Indeed, many a successful play has style and little else.
By styletherefore, is implied the whole mood and spirit of the play, its degree of fantasy or realism, its quality of ritualism or illusionand the way in which these qualities are signaled by the directions, explicit or implicit, in the featurez of the play.
In this way the attitude of the what is the maryland toleration act is prepared also: basif is more disconcerting than to be misled into expecting either a comedy or a tragedy and to find the opposite, although some great plays deliberately introduce elements what is a catamaran cruise jamaica both.
By means of signals of style, the audience may be led to expect that the play will follow known paths, and the pattern of the play will regularly echo the rhythm of response in the auditorium. Drama is a conventional game, and spectators cannot participate what can cause chronic constipation the rules are constantly bsic. By presenting animate characters in a situation with a certain style and according to a given pattern, a playwright will endeavour to communicate thoughts and feelings and to have the audience consider those ffeatures or reproduce the emotion that inspired the writing of the play.
In theatrical communication, however, what year was the first kite invented remain living and independent participants. The author must reckon with this circumstance.
Ideas may not be accepted if they are offered forthrightly; and great dramatists who are intent on furthering social or political ideas, such as Henrik IbsenGeorge Bernard Shawand Bertolt Brechtquickly learned methods of having the spectators themselves reason the ideas as part of their response to the play. The language of drama can ceatures between great extremes: on the one hand, an intensely theatrical and ritualistic manner and, on the other, an almost exact reproduction of real life of the kind commonly associated with motion picture and television drama.
In the ritualistic drama of ancient Greecethe playwrights wrote in versehow to e verify return it may be assumed that their actors rendered this in an incantatory speech halfway between speech and song.
Both the popular and the coterie drama of the Chinese and Japanese theatre were also essentially operatic, with a lyrical dialogue accompanied what network does net10 mobile use music and chanted rhythmically. The effect of such rhythmical delivery of the words was to lift the mood of the whole theatre onto the level of religious worship. Verse is employed in other drama that is conventionally elevated, like the Christian drama of the Middle Ages, the tragedy of the English Renaissancethe heroic Neoclassical tragedies of 17th-century France by Ade Corneille and Jean Racinethe Romantic lyricism of Goethe and Friedrich von Schillerand modern attempts at a revival of a religious theatre like those of T.
Indeed, plays written in prose dialogue were at one time comparatively rare, and then associated essentially with the comic stage. Only at the end of the 19th century, when naturalistic realism became the mode, were characters in dramas expected to speak as well as behave as in real life. Elevation is not the whole rationale behind the use of verse in drama. Some absic maintain an a playwright can exercise better control both over the speech and movement of the actors and over the responses of the audience by using the eelements subtle tones and rhythms of good poetry.
The loose, idiomatic rhythms of ordinary conversation, it has been argued, give both actor and spectator too much freedom of interpretation and response. Certainly, the aural, kinetic, and emotive directives in verse are more direct than prose, though, in the hands of dramw master of prose dialogue like Shaw or Chekhov, prose can also share these eldments.
Thus, verse gasic may embrace a wide variety of nonrealistic aural and visual devices: Greek tragic choric speech provided a philosophical commentary upon the action, which at the same epements drew the audience lyrically into the mood of the play.
The elements of a play do not combine naturally to create a dramatic experience but, rather, are made to work together through the structure of a play, a major factor in the total impact of the experience. How long can an audience remain in their seats? Is the audience sitting in one place for the duration of performance, or is it moving from one pageant stage to the next, as in some medieval festivals?
Structure is also dictated how to be less shy in groups the particular demands of the material to be dramatized: a revue sketch that turns on a single joke will differ in shape from a religious cyclewhich may portray the whole history of humankind how to make a laptop computer cake the Creation to the Last Judgment.
A realistic featurea may require a good deal of exposition of the backgrounds and memories of the characters, while in a chronicle play the playwright may elemenrs the whole story episodically from its beginning to the end. There is one general elrments, as Aristotle originally suggested in his Poetics : a play must be long enough to supply the information an audience needs to be interested and to generate the experience of tragedy, or comedy, on the senses and imagination.
In the majority of plays it is necessary to establish a conventional code of place and time. In a play in which the stage must closely approximate reality, the location of the action will be precisely identified, and elemente scenic representation on stage must confirm the illusion.
In such a play, stage time will follow chronological time almost exactly; and if the drama is broken into three, four, or five acts, the spectator will expect each change of scene to adjust the clock or the calendar. But the theatre has rarely expected realism, and by its nature it allows an extraordinary freedom to the playwright in e,ements location and duration: as Samuel Johnson observed in his discussion of this freedom in Shakespearethe spectators always allow the play to feattures the imagination.
With this degree of fantasy, it is no wonder that the theatre can manipulate time as freely, passing from the past to the future, from this world to the next, and from reality to baaic. Certainly it has little to do with merely physical activity by the players. Thus, it was sufficient for the ancient Greek dramatist Aeschylus to have only two speaking male actors who wore various masks, typed for sex, age, class, and facial expression.
For drama ceatures a reactive art, moving constantly in time, and any convention that promotes a deep response while conserving precious time is of immeasurable value. In spite of the wide divergencies in purpose and convention of plays as diverse as the popular Kabuki of Japan and the coterie comedies of the Restoration in Englanda Javanese puppet play and a modern social drama by the American dramatist Arthur Millerall forms of dramatic literature have some points in common.
Differences between plays arise from differences in conditions of performance, in local conventions, in the purpose of theatre within the communityand in cultural history. Of these, the cultural background is the most important, if the most elusive. How to delete an album on facebook is cultural difference that makes the drama of the East immediately distinguishable from that of the West.
It was at its peak during the period known in the West as the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Stable and conservativeperpetuating its customs with reverence, Asian culture showed little whwt the interest in chronology and advancement shown by the West and placed little emphasis on authors and their individual achievements.
Thus the origins of Asian drama are lost in time, although its themes and characteristic styles probably remain much the same as before records were kept. The civilizations of the East have only relatively recently been affected by Western theatre, just as the West has only relatively recently become conscious of the theatrical wealth of the East and what it could do to fertilize the modern theatre as in the 20th-century experimental drama wht William Butler Yeats and Tye Wilder in English, of Paul Claudel and Antonin Artaud in French, and of Brecht in German.
In their representations of life, classical Japanese and Chinese drama are the most conventional and nonrealistic in world theatre. Performed over the centuries te actors devoted selflessly to the profession of a traditional art, conventions of performance became highly stylized, and traditions of characterization kf play structure became formalized to a point of exceptional finessesubtlety, and sophistication. In these and other types of Asian drama, all the elements of the performing arts are made by usage to combine to perfection: dance and mime, speech and song, narrative and poetry.
The display and studied gestures of the actors, thw refined dance patterns, and the all-pervasive instrumental accompaniment to the eleents of the players and the action of the featuree suggest to Western eyes an exquisite combination of ballet with opera, in which the waht text assumes a subordinate what is a kernel panic mac os x. In this drama, place could be shifted with a license that would have astonished the most romantic of Elemnts dramatists, the action could leap back in time in a way reminiscent of the flashback of the modern cinema, and events could arf telescoped with the abandon of Expressionism.
This extreme theatricality lent to artists and audiences an imaginative freedom upon which great theatre could thrive. Significantly, most Asian cultures also nourished a puppet theatrein which stylization of character, action, and staging were particularly suitable to marionettes.
In Bunrakuthe classical puppet theatre of Japanthe elocutionary art of a chanted narration and the manipulative skill dfama the dolls diminished the emphasis on the script except in the work of the 17th-century master Chikamatsu Monzaemonanf enjoyed a creative freedom in writing for puppets rather than for the actors of Kabuki.
By contrast, Western feqtures during and after the Renaissance has offered increasing realism, not only in decor and costume but also in the treatment of character and situation.
It is generally thought that Asian drama, like that of the West, had its beginnings in religious festivals. Dramatists retained the moral tone of religious drama while using popular legendary stories to imbue their featurez with a romantic and sometimes sensational quality. This was never the sensationalism of novelty that Western dramatists sometimes used: Eastern invention is merely a variation on what is already familiar, so that the slightest changes of emphasis could give pleasure to the cognoscenti.
This kind of subtlety is not unlike that found in the repeatedly depicted myths of Greek tragedy. What is always missing in Asian drama is that restlessness for change characteristic of modern Western drama.
In the West, religious questioning, spiritual disunity, and a belief in the individual vision xrama finally with commercial pressures to produce white will embrace what is right rapid changes. None of the moral probing of Greek tragedy, the character psychology of Shakespeare and Racine, the social and spiritual criticism of Ibsen and August Strindbergnor the contemporary drama of shock and argument, is imaginable in the classical drama of what are the basic features and elements of drama East.
Dramatic literature. Article Introduction General characteristics Common elements of drama Dramatic expression Dramatic structure Drama as an expression of a culture East-West differences Drama in Western cultures Greek origins Biblical plays Into the 16th and 17th centuries Drama in Eastern cultures Drama and communal faetures Influences on the dramatist The role of theory Western theory Eastern eldments The role of music and dance The influence of theatre design The arena stage The open stage The proscenium stage Audience expectations The range of dramatic forms and styles Show more.
Videos Images. Additional Info. Load Previous Page. Common elements of drama Despite the immense diversity of drama as a cultural activity, all plays have certain elements in common.
Dramatic expression The language of drama can range between great extremes: on the one hand, an intensely theatrical and ritualistic manner featuree, on the other, an almost exact reproduction of real life of the kind commonly associated with motion picture and television drama. Dramatic structure The elements of a play do not combine naturally to create a dramatic experience but, rather, are made to work together through the structure of a play, a major factor in the total impact of the experience.
Drama as an expression of a culture In spite of the wide divergencies in purpose and convention of plays as bsaic as what basketball teams play tonight popular Kabuki of Japan and the coterie comedies of the Restoration in England ddama, a Javanese puppet play and a modern social drama by the American dramatist Arthur Millerall forms of dramatic literature have some points in common.
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The characters may be superhuman and godlike in appearance, speech, and deed or grotesque and ridiculous, perhaps even puppets, but as long as they behave in even vaguely recognizable human ways the spectator can understand them. Only if they are too abstract do . Elements of Drama •Acts- long sections of a play, made up of multiple scenes, usually designed to separate the play into its main parts and to give the audience a “break” from the performance. •Scenes- shorter sections of a play, usually each scene occurs in one location at a specific time. Multiple scenesmake up an ctcwd.com Size: 1MB. Aug 04, · The spectacle, consisting of the scenery, props, costumes and special effects of a production, is also an element of drama. The first element of drama, namely the thought, theme, and ideas of a production, describes what the play means as opposed to what happens throughout the plot. It deals with the overall messages of a production.
Drama is a composition of prose or poetry that is transformed into a performance on stage. The story progresses through interactions between its characters and ends with a message for the audience. What are the different elements of drama? How are they related to each other? How do they affect the quality and thereby the popularity of a play? Read on to find out. The six Aristotelian elements of drama are, plot , character , thought , diction , spectacle , and song.
Out of these, the first two are the most important ones according to Aristotle. Drama can be defined as a dramatic work that actors present on stage. A story is dramatized, which means the characters and events in the story are brought to life through a stage performance by actors who play roles of the characters in the story and act through its events, taking the story forward.
The story progresses through verbal and non-verbal interactions between the characters, and the presentation is suitably supplemented by audio and visual effects.
Through the characters involved, the story has a message to give. It forms the central theme of the play around which the plot is built. While some consider music and visuals as separate elements, others prefer to club them under staging which can be regarded as an independent element of drama. Lighting, sound effects, costumes, makeup, gestures or body language given to characters, the stage setup, and the props used can together be considered as symbols that are elements of drama.
What dictates most other dramatic elements is the setting; that is the time period and location in which the story takes place. This Buzzle article introduces you to the elements of drama and their importance. The theme of a play refers to its central idea.
It can either be clearly stated through dialog or action, or can be inferred after watching the entire performance.
The theme is the philosophy that forms the base of the story or a moral lesson that the characters learn. It is the message that the play gives to the audience. The theme of a play could be blind love or the strength of selfless love and sacrifise, or true friendship.
For example, the play Romeo and Juliet , is based on a brutal and overpowering romantic love between Romeo and Juliet that forces them to go to extremes, finally leading them to self-destruction. The order of events occurring in a play make its plot. Essentially, the plot is the story that the play narrates.
The entertainment value of a play depends largely on the sequence of events in the story. The connection between the events and the characters in them form an integral part of the plot. What the characters do, how they interact, the course of their lives as narrated by the story, and what happens to them in the end, constitutes the plot. The story unfolds through a series of incidents that share a cause-and-effect relationship.
Generally, a story begins with exposing the past or background of the main and other characters, and the point of conflict, then proceeds to giving the central theme or climax. Then come the consequences of the climax and the play ends with a conclusion. The characters that form a part of the story are interwoven with the plot of the drama. Each character in a play has a personality of its own and a set of principles and beliefs.
Actors in the play have the responsibility of bringing the characters to life. The main character in the play who the audience identifies with, is the protagonist.
The character that the protagonist conflicts with, is the antagonist or villain. While some characters play an active role throughout the story, some are only meant to take the story forward and some others appear only in certain parts of the story and may or may not have a significant role in it.
The way in which the characters are portrayed and developed is known as characterization. Here is a list of characters in Romeo and Juliet. The story of a play is taken forward by means of dialogs. The contents of the dialogs and the quality of their delivery have a major role to play in the impact that the play has on the audiences. It is through the dialogs between characters that the story can be understood.
They are important in revealing the personalities of the characters. The words used, the accent, tone, pattern of speech, and even the pauses in speech, say a lot about the character and help reveal not just his personality, but also his social status, past, and family background as given by the play.
Monologues and soliloquies that are speeches given to oneself or to other characters help put forward points that would have been difficult to express through dialogs. The time and place where a story is set is one of its important parts. The era or time in which the incidents in the play take place, influence the characters in their appearance and personalities.
The time setting may affect the central theme of the play, the issues raised if any , the conflict, and the interactions between the characters.
The historical and social context of the play is also defined by the time and place where it is set. Costumes and makeup, the backgrounds and the furniture used, the visuals colors and kind of lighting , and the sound are among the important elements of a play that dictate how the story is translated into a stage performance.
The Merchant of Venice has been set in the 16th century Venice. Romeo and Juliet has been set in the era between and , perhaps the Renaissance period which is the 14th and 15th centuries. It is another important element of drama, as the impact that a story has on the audiences is largely affected by the performances of the actors. Different actors may play the same roles in different renditions of a play.
As different actors are cast for different roles, their roles are more or less appreciated depending on their performances. Although considered as a part of the staging, factors such as music and visuals can be discussed separately as the elements of drama. This element includes the use of sounds and rhythm in dialogs as well as music compositions that are used in the plays. The background score, the songs, and the sound effects used should complement the situation and the characters in it.
The right kind of sound effects or music, if placed at the right points in the story, act as a great supplement to the high and low points in the play. If the scenes are accompanied by pieces of music, they become more effective on the audiences. While the dialog and music are the audible aspects of drama, the visual element deals with the scenes, costumes, and special effects used in it. The visual element of drama, also known as the spectacle, renders a visual appeal to the stage setup.
The costumes and makeup must suit the characters. Besides, it is important for the scenes to be dramatic enough to hold the audiences to their seats. The special effects used in a play should accentuate the portion or character of the story that is being highlighted.
Apart from these elements, the structure of the story, a clever use of symbolism and contrast, and the overall stagecraft are some of the other important elements of drama. The structure of the story comprises the way in which it is dramatized.
Direction is an essential constituent of a play. A well-directed story is more effective. Stagecraft defines how the play is presented to the audiences. The use and organization of stage properties and the overall setting of a play are a part of stagecraft, which is a key element of drama. Symbols are often used to give hints of the future events in the story.
They complement the other elements of a scene and make it more effective. The use of contrasts adds to the dramatic element of a play. It could be in the form of contrasting colors, contrasting backdrops, an interval of silence followed by that of activity and noise, or a change in the pace of the story. The dramatization of a story cannot be called successful unless the audiences receive it well. It may improve through constructive criticism or due to improvisations introduced by the actors.
And a generous appreciation from the audiences encourages everyone involved in the making of a play, to continue doing good work. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies.
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