Drama - Ms. Stanton: English (GHS)

Drama Terminology
Romeo and Juliet
Advanced English 9
• A story that is written to be acted for an
• A story that ends happily and usually in a
• Tragedy- A play in which the main characters
come to an unhappy end.
• The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. What do we
know about the play from the title?
• Tragic hero- a character (hero) that has a trait
that leads to his or her downfall.
• Tragic flaw- the trait that leads to his or her
downfall can be excessive greed, pride, passion,
Tragic Hero
• From Aristotle’s Poetics
• Suggests that a hero of a tragedy must evoke in the
audience a sense of pity or fear, saying, “the change of
fortune presented must not be the spectacle of a virtuous
man brought from prosperity to adversity."
• He establishes the concept that the emotion of pity stems
from a person receives undeserved misfortune and fear
comes when the misfortune befalls a man like us.
• Hero must be “virtuous” and a "a morally blameless man”
(article 82).
• The flaw is what will bring him death by the end of the
Tragic Flaw
• A flaw in the character of the protagonist of a
tragedy that brings the protagonist to ruin or
• Downfall
• Describes a relationship that is determined by
outside forces or “stars” to have a tragic
• Fate-Inevitable course of events
• Time and place of the story. Also includes
lights, costumes, props, etc.
• All objects that the actors use on stage.
• Conversation between characters.
• We learn everything about the story through
the characters’ conversations.
Soliloquy, Monologue, Aside
• Soliloquy- long speech in which a character
who is onstage alone expresses his or her
thoughts aloud.
• Monologue- an extended speech by one
• Aside-words that are spoken by a character in
a play to the audience or to another character
but that are not supposed to be overheard by
others onstage.
• An introduction or preface, especially a poem
recited to introduce a play
• Speaks in the prologue of Romeo and Juliet,
addresses the audience before the play, act or
Act, Scene, and Stage Directions
• Act- part of the play. Shakespeare’s plays are
written in 5 Acts.
• Scene- part of the play in which the action
stays in one place for a continuous time
• Stage Directions- actions of the play
• Popular belief about social groups or
Shakespearean Sonnet
• 14 line poem, written in iambic pentameter
with a rhyme scheme of abab cdcd ef ef gg
• Run on line- line of poetry that goes to the
next line
• End stopped line- line of poetry where the
sentence stops at the end of the line
• A statement or situation that seems to be a
contradiction, but reveals a truth.
• They often express aspects of life that are
mysterious, surprising, or difficult to describe.
• Why is the night sky black if there is an infinity of
• We learn from history that we do not learn from
• How can you love someone and hate someone at
the same time?
Archaic Words
Words that disappeared from common use
Bite my thumb-obscene gesture
Good-en – goodnight
Maid- unmarried girl
Mark- listen to
Wherefore- why
Duns the mouse- be quiet
Irony and Turning Point
• Irony- contrast between expectation and reality.
– Situational- when there is a contract between what
would seem appropriate and what really happens.
– Verbal-a writer or speaker says something but means
something different.
– Dramatic-the audience or reader knows something
that the character does not.
• Turning Point-a moment when a choice is made
by main characters that determine the direction
of the play.
Character Foil
• A character who sets off another character by
strong contrast and reveals something about
the character.
• Play on words
• Examples:
– I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then
it hit me.
– I was going to look for my missing watch, but I could
never find the time.
– When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
– Cartoonist found dead in home. Details are sketchy.
• Just like language, humor has changed from
Shakespeare’s time to now.
• People who stood by the stage at the Globe
and saw a play for a penny.
Narrative structure
Irony- a special kind of contrast between
appearance and reality
usually one in which reality is the opposite
of what is expected or considered
Narrative structure
Situational Irony- a contrast between what a reader
or character expects and what actually exists
Narrative structure
Verbal Irony- when someone knowingly
exaggerates or says one thing and means
Narrative structure
Dramatic Irony- occurs when the reader or
viewer knows something that a character does
not know

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