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Activator: Acrostic

INSTRUCTIONS: Write the name
“Shakespeare” on your plate. Next, write
information you learned during your Web
Quest using the letters in Shakespeare.
You have 5 minutes to complete this task.
Introduction to Drama
Emphasis on Shakespearean Drama
Part One
ELEMENTS OF DRAMA
Drama

The word drama comes from the Greek
verb dran, which means “to do.”
◦ The earliest known plays. . .
 Were written around the fifth century B.C.
 Produced for festivals to honor Dionysus, the god
of wine and fertility.
Dramatic Structure
Like the plot of a story, the plot of a play involves
characters who face a problem or conflict.
Rising action:
tension builds
Exposition: characters,
setting and conflict are
introduced
Climax:
point of highest tension;
action determines how the conflict
will be resolved
Falling action:
tension subsides
Resolution
conflict is
resolved;
play ends
Elements of Drama
Playwright-the
author of a play
 Actors-the people
who perform
 Acts-the units of
action
 Scenes-parts of the
acts

Characters’ Speech
The characters’ speech may take any of the
following forms.

Dialogue- conversations of characters on
stage

Monologue- long speech given by one
character to the others

Soliloquy- speech by a character alone onstage
to himself, herself, or to the audience

Asides- remarks made to the audience or to
one character: the other characters onstage do
not hear an aside
Stage Directions







Found in brackets [ ]
Describe scenery and
how characters speak
C, Center Stage
L, Stage Left
R, Stage Right
U, Upstage or Rear
D, Downstage or Front
Part Two
TYPES OF PLAYS
Two Types of Plays
Tragedies
Comedies
Tragedy


A tragedy is a play that ends unhappily. It
shows the downfall of the main character.
Most classic Greek tragedies deal with
serious, universal themes such as . . .
right and wrong
justice and injustice
life and death

Tragedies put human limitations against the
larger forces of destiny.
Tragic Hero

The protagonist of most pride
classical tragedies is a
tragic hero.
rebelliousness
◦ The tragic hero is noble
and in many ways likable.
◦ However, he has a tragic
flaw, which is a personality
flaw or a mistake he
makes.
jealousy
Comedy

A comedy is a play that ends happily. The
plot usually centers on a romantic
conflict.
boy meets girl
boy loses girl
boy wins girl
Comedy
 Comic
complications
always occur before
the conflict is
resolved.
 In most cases, the
play ends with a
wedding.
Part Three
DEVICES IN DRAMA
Dramatic Irony
Dramatic Irony: the audience or the
reader knows something that a character
does not.
 Playwrights use dramatic irony when they
allow the audience to know more than
the characters do about a specific
situation or incident.

Foil
A foil is a character who provides a
contrast to another character, usually the
protagonist.
 The function of a foil is to highlight the
protagonist’s qualities and personality.

◦ Therefore, a foil is a method of
characterization for a playwright.
Part Four
LANGUAGE OF
SHAKESPEARE’S PLAYS
Shakespeare’s Language
Meter is a rhythm of accented and
unaccented syllables which are organized
into patterns, called feet.
 Using the same meter throughout a play
helped actors memorize their lines.
 Shakespeare used iambic pentameter
as his meter.

Iambic Pentameter
Iambic foot = a pair of syllables containing
short/long or unstressed/stressed syllables.
 Pentameter = five
 So Iambic pentameter is a line that contains five
iambs (10 syllables in unstressed stressed
pattern)
 Makes a sound like a heartbeat:
deDUM deDUM deDUM deDUM deDUM

Iambic Pentameter Examples

When I do count the clock that tells the time

To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells