Elements of Drama

By: LH 1st

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Fun Facts

Drama comes from the Greek word dran which means "to do".
The earliest known plays were written in 5th century BC.\
Dramas were first produced for festivals to honor Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility.


A tragedy is a play that ends unhappily.
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.
The protagonist of most classical tragedies is a tragic hero that is noble and admirable in many ways. The hero has tragic flaws, a personal failing that leads to a tragic end.


A comedy is a play that ends happily. The plot usually centers on a romantic conflict (couple meets, problem makes them part, couple gets back together).
Main characters of a comedy could be anyone.
In most cases the play ends with a wedding.

Modern Drama

May be tragedy, comedy or a mixture of the two.
Modern drama usually focuses on personal issues.
Modern dramas are about normal people and may include: long flashbacks, music and visual projections of a character's private thoughts.

About the stage, people and dialogue.

A thrust stage goes out towards the audience and has people on three sides.
An arena or round stage has people on all sides of the stage.
A proscenium stage is most commonly used. Audience is on one side.
Dialogue is conversation between characters.
Monologue is a long speech given by one character.
Asides are comments made by the character to the audience or to ones self. Other characters do not hear asides.
Soliloquy is a speech by a character alone on stage to himself of herself or to the audience.