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The elements of drama:

Any dramatic work is a collective event which involves various elements:

A playwright: the addresser;

A written text: the message;

Actors, director, designers, musicians: the performance;

Audience: the addressee.

Drama is a real moment of communication from author to audience through the actors. So the same work can be performed in a different way according to various factors like the sensibility of actors, audience and director.

The features of a dramatic text

The structure:

A play consists of acts divided into scenes. In act 1 we have the introduction, in act 2 the development, in act 3 there is crisis (of a character), in act 4 there's a complication, in act 5 the denouement, that is the resolving of all difficulties.

In the tragedies the introduction is spoken by a chorus through a prologue: it gives information about the main character or the subject of the play. In the end of the play there's often an epilogue.


We can understand place and time from the dialogue and the stage directions.

Dramatic techniques:

The main support of drama is Dialogue, which creates the action, provides details about the characters, show what a character thinks about another, gives information about the past.

Then there's the soliloquy in which the character is alone on the stage, and the monologue, in which there are other characters but the speaker ignores them. In this way the audience knows a character through his thoughts, his s for the future, his feelings and reactions.

The asides  are short comments made by a character only for the audience. They reveal the nature of the speaker, explain what has been said and the developments.

The stage directions are interventions of the playwright and provide information.


Characters include a hero, a heroine, and in the tragedies a villain who does evil actions. Characters are divided into main and minor.

Analysis of a character:

The analysis of a character is how the character is presented: through dialogue, soliloquies, asides and stage directions.


The language of drama represents the features of everyday speech, of poetry and of prose, through the characters' , the playwright's and the audience's points of view.


The first expression in drama were Miracle plays. They were performed on movable stage wagons called eants which stopped at some places in the town. People used to stop in front of a eant to watch an episode and each eant was a section of the complete story and the audience used to move from one eant to another.

The next development in drama were the Morality Plays, whose characters weren't taken from the Bible. They were personification of human vices and virtues. These plays were invented plots and went from ancient to contemporary events. One of the most important morality play is Everyman.

At the end of the 15th century began another form of plays: the interludes. They were short plays, usually performed by a small acting company at a lord's house. It combined serious and comic elements and used two technical expedients: the disguise and the personification of the vice. 


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