Login

Ch 18: NES ELA: Analyzing & Interpreting Literary Drama

About This Chapter

Improve your ability to analyze and interpret literary drama with these engaging video lessons. You'll cover the essential drama-related topics you'll need to know for the National Evaluation Series (NES) English Language Arts (ELA) exam.

NES ELA: Analyzing & Interpreting Literary Drama - Chapter Summary

This chapter uses a combination of video lessons and interactive quizzes to prepare you for drama-related questions on the NES ELA test. Review styles and types of drama, dramatic elements, strategies for analyzing drama and more! By the end of the chapter, you'll also have covered the following topics:

  • Dramatic terminology
  • Play structure and stage directions
  • Characters, plot, setting and symbolism in drama
  • Melodramas, comedies and farces
  • Monologue, dialogue and nonverbal communication
  • Futurism, dada, expressionism and surrealism
  • Interpreting scripted dialogue
  • Main idea and purpose of a scene
  • Inferring mood in plays
  • Character motivation
  • Greek theatre and classical to modern tragedies
  • Common techniques and notable works of American drama

Each of these short video lessons is designed to get you up to speed in about five minutes. Watch the full video or skip to specific topics using the timeline tags. Test your knowledge before or after viewing the lessons with interactive self-assessment quizzes.

NES ELA: Analyzing & Interpreting Literary Drama Chapter Objectives

This study guide will prepare you for questions on drama in the Analyzing and Interpreting Literature subarea of the NES ELA exam. This exam section makes up about 23% of the total test score. You'll need to know the characteristics of different forms of drama and be able to analyze the use of dramatic techniques in a given work.

The exam as a whole consists of 150 multiple-choice questions. You will have three hours to complete the test, which is delivered via computer. The NES ELA exam is part of the licensure process for aspiring English teachers in some states.

18 Lessons in Chapter 18: NES ELA: Analyzing & Interpreting Literary Drama
What is Drama? - Terms, Time Periods and Styles

1. What is Drama? - Terms, Time Periods and Styles

Ever wonder why we use the word 'drama' when referencing people who overreact to a situation? Discover the definition of drama, its different styles, and why your friends might belong on the stage in this overview of the dramatic genre.

Drama Structure: Acts, Scenes, Prologue & Epilogue

2. Drama Structure: Acts, Scenes, Prologue & Epilogue

Plays have a definite structure that can include a prologue, acts, scenes, and an epilogue. In this lesson, you'll learn about each of those parts and how they fit together to form a play.

Elements of Drama: Characters, Plot, Setting & Symbolism

3. Elements of Drama: Characters, Plot, Setting & Symbolism

Have you ever wondered how actors in a play can convey a story without the audience reading the script? Watch and learn how playwrights use dramatic elements to tell a story on the stage.

Plot Elements in Drama: From Exposition to Resolution

4. Plot Elements in Drama: From Exposition to Resolution

Plays follow a predictable pattern that is referred to as their dramatic structure. In this lesson, you'll learn the five parts of dramatic structure, and you'll have the opportunity to test yourself at the end with a short quiz.

Dramatic Comedy: History and Types

5. Dramatic Comedy: History and Types

Everyone loves to laugh, and sometimes it's at the most inappropriate times. Even the ancient Greeks loved a dirty joke or two! Learn more in this video about dramatic comedy, its history and types.

Dramatic Farce: History, Examples and Playwrights

6. Dramatic Farce: History, Examples and Playwrights

Would you believe Curly, Larry, and Moe, The Three Stooges, are simply practicing a centuries-old form of drama? Learn more about how horseplay and high energy contribute to the dramatic comedy sub-genre called farce.

Dramatic Monologue: Definition & Examples

7. Dramatic Monologue: Definition & Examples

In this lesson, we will explore the dramatic monologue, a long piece of dialogue by one character that reveals the character's inner feelings, whether it be in a play, poem or novel.

Elements of Melodrama: From Early Theater to the Modern Soap Opera

8. Elements of Melodrama: From Early Theater to the Modern Soap Opera

Have you ever wondered where or when soap operas started? In this video, we will look at the history and transformation of the melodrama from the stage to the small (and big) screen.

Futurism, Dada, Surrealism & Expressionism

9. Futurism, Dada, Surrealism & Expressionism

They say that entertainment often mirrors reality. This was only partially true in the early 20th century. Watch this video to see how playwrights all took different approaches to creating their own realities in these dramatic movements of the early 1900s.

Reading & Interpreting Dialogue from a Script or Play

10. Reading & Interpreting Dialogue from a Script or Play

Interpreting lines from a play means more than understanding the definitions of the words. In this lesson, you'll learn how to tap into the emotional content of lines and develop an interpretation.

Interpreting the Main Idea and Purpose of a Scene

11. Interpreting the Main Idea and Purpose of a Scene

Essays usually have a stated main idea, but it's not as obvious in a play. In this lesson, you'll learn a technique that will help you determine the main idea and purpose of a dramatic scene.

Identifying Stage Directions in a Drama

12. Identifying Stage Directions in a Drama

Plays don't only contain the words the characters say; they also have stage directions. In this lesson, you'll learn how to distinguish stage directions from dialogue and what the most common directions mean.

Inferring Mood in Drama

13. 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

14. 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

15. 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.

Tragedy in Drama: Classical to Modern

16. Tragedy in Drama: Classical to Modern

Nearly every story has a hero, but some are better off by the end of the story than others. In this video, we learn what is so tragic about the hero in a tragedy.

Greek Theatre: Tragedy and Comedy

17. Greek Theatre: Tragedy and Comedy

This lecture examines the function of theatre in Greek culture and religion, with special focus on the Athenians. It then explores the three different sorts of Greek theatre: satyr plays, comedy and tragedy, citing specific examples. Finally, we study the impact of theatre on Western civilization.

Analyzing American Drama: Techniques and Plays

18. Analyzing American Drama: Techniques and Plays

Plays are often developed with the use of a number of literary techniques. This lesson explores the use of symbolism, motifs, flashbacks, and monologues in American drama.

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 95 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Other Chapters

Other chapters within the NES English Language Art (301) Test Practice & Study Guide course

Support