About This Chapter
Drama Analysis - Chapter Summary
In this chapter, instructors present drama's elements, dramatic structure and strategies for interpreting dialogue in scripts and plays, in addition to the methods for inferring mood or understanding character motivation. Hints for identifying stage directions in drama are also revealed. Upon completion of this chapter, you should feel confident with the following topics:
- Terminology, styles and time periods associated with drama
- Elements of drama, including plot, setting, symbolism and characters
- Drama's structure, such as scenes, acts, epilogue and prologue
- Tips for reading, interpreting and analyzing drama
- Identification and interpretation of main idea, purpose of scenes and stage directions
- Character motivation, dialogue and nonverbal communication
Our short video lessons, taught by experienced instructors, can make learning fun. By completing the brief, multiple-choice quiz that accompanies each lesson, you can gauge your understanding and decide if any additional review is required. For learners who would rather look at print, full transcripts are easily accessible for each lesson.There's also a chapter exam offered as final reinforcement. You can contact a subject matter expert anytime you run into questions!
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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. The Use of Punctuation in Dramatic Dialogue
Playwrights use punctuation to tell their actors how to deliver their lines. In this lesson, you'll learn about three types of punctuation and the effects they have when used in dramatic dialogue.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
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