Elements of Drama

Mitchell Friedman


Drama is a story enacted onstage for a live audience. It comes from the Greek verb "dran," which means "to do."

The earliest known plays were written around 500 B.C., usually produced for festivals to honor the god of wine and fertility, Dionysus.


The characters are what determine who will be what in a drama.

The protagonist is the main, good character.

The antagonist is the central bad guy.

Characters effect the flow of the story either through a dialogue, monologue, soliloquy, or an aside.

A dialogue is a conversation between characters, a monlogue is a speech given to other characters, a soliloquy is a speech given from the character either to themself or to the audience, and an aside is a remark from one of the characters that the other characters do not hear - these remarks are for themself or the audience.


The story lines of dramas usually consist of a few key elements. The exposition, complications, climax, and resolution.

The exposition is the start of the performance. This is usually where important characters are introduced to the story.

The complications area is where tension is built, to keep the audience interested in the story and introduce the conflict.

The climax is the most intense part of the story. It could be anything from the point where fights occur, or when a space shuttle is launched.

The resolution is where the play ends. In this section of the plot, the story or main conflict has been resolved.