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Ch 12: American Drama for 12th Grade

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons to study the essential ingredients of American drama and to learn more about several well-known playwrights and their works. These easy-to-follow lessons are just a portion of our online study guide and video collection.

American Drama for 12th Grade - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Drama refers to plays for theater, television, radio and possibly other digital formats. Some drama is also written just to be read, and most dramas appear in the form of scripts. In this chapter, you can discover several different ways that characters communicate in dramas and learn how playwrights create mood in their works. Meet Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller and Eugene O'Neill and hear about some of their well-known plays. This chapter can help you understand the following:

  • How dramas convey mood
  • Methods by which characters communicate in dramas
  • Types of motivation for dramatic characters
  • The lives of several famous playwrights, in addition to analyses and summaries of several major works

Video Objective
Drawing Inference of Mood in Drama This lesson shows the subtle ways in which mood can be portrayed within dramas.
Communication of Characters in Dramas: Dialogue and Nonverbal Communication Learn how characters can communicate nonverbally.
Motivation of Characters in Dramas Find out how playwrights develop and reveal their characters' motivations and drives.
Tennessee Williams: Biography, Works, and Style Learn how Williams' own life may have affected his written works.
A Streetcar Named Desire: Summary and Analysis Find out why this play was so controversial.
The Glass Menagerie: Summary and Analysis This lesson explains why The Glass Menagerie is often called 'the memory play' and explores some of the main symbols used by Williams.
Arthur Miller: Biography and Major Plays Meet this playwright and find out how his leanings towards political activism may have influenced his plays.
Arthur Miller's The Crucible: Summary and Quotes Learn what connection a play about the Salem witch trials had with America of the 1950s.
Eugene O'Neill: Biography and Major Plays In this lesson, you can find out how O'Neill's difficult life may have affected his writings.

9 Lessons in Chapter 12: American Drama for 12th Grade
Inferring Mood in Drama

1. Inferring Mood in Drama

When reading a play, the reader must figure out what the overall mood is using evidence found within the text. This lesson will teach you where to look in the script to find the clues to the mood.

Character Dialogue & Nonverbal Communication in a Drama

2. Character Dialogue & Nonverbal Communication in a Drama

Characters in plays have two ways of communicating with the audience and each other. They can use verbal or nonverbal forms of communication. In this lesson, you'll learn about how both are used in drama.

Character Motivation in a Drama

3. Character Motivation in a Drama

Motivation is a term that applies to many aspects of life. In this lesson, you'll apply the term to literature and learn how motivation functions in a play.

Tennessee Williams: Biography, Works, and Style

4. Tennessee Williams: Biography, Works, and Style

This lesson provides insight into the life, work and style of one of the most influential playwrights of our time, Tennessee Williams. His major works include 'A Streetcar Named Desire' and 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.'

A Streetcar Named Desire: Summary and Analysis

5. A Streetcar Named Desire: Summary and Analysis

Learn about the controversial play 'A Streetcar Named Desire,' why it was so controversial, and why it is still considered a classic piece of American literature.

The Glass Menagerie: Summary and Analysis

6. The Glass Menagerie: Summary and Analysis

Tennessee Williams' first big hit, 'The Glass Menagerie,' known as the memory play, fascinated audiences for its presentation of one man's vision of his past. This lesson will go into the basic plot of this story, as well as explore the major symbols and elements of style in the play.

Arthur Miller: Biography and Major Plays

7. Arthur Miller: Biography and Major Plays

In this lesson, we will talk about the life of one of America's greatest playwrights, Arthur Miller. We will take a close look at his role in the American political scene of the 1950s and give insight into some of his most influential works.

Arthur Miller's The Crucible: Summary and Quotes

8. Arthur Miller's The Crucible: Summary and Quotes

What's Arthur Miller's play 'The Crucible' all about? Witches! Communists! Allegories! It's the Red Scare of the McCarthy era as told through the metaphor of the Salem witch trials of colonial America.

Eugene O'Neill: Biography and Major Plays

9. Eugene O'Neill: Biography and Major Plays

Winner of four Pulitzer Prizes and one Nobel Prize, playwright Eugene O'Neill is a major figure in American drama. In this lesson, we'll look at his tumultuous life and review the most notable plays from his acclaimed career.

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