Ch 10: Drama

About This Chapter

Watch online video lessons to learn about reading drama. Each lesson is accompanied by a short multiple-choice quiz you can use to check your understanding of dramatic elements, structures, dialogue and more.

Drama - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

What do you think of when you hear the word drama? Do you think of daytime soap operas, where characters always end every scene with a dramatic pause and strange facial expression? Do you think of a Shakespearean play, where everyone is trying to kill someone else? In literature, drama is prose that involves a conflict. As you probably guessed, many different pieces fall into the category of drama. The lessons in this chapter will help you learn how to easily identify a dramatic piece of literature. You'll also study different aspects of drama. Some of the specific things you'll learn include:

  • The elements of drama
  • How to figure out the main idea of a scene
  • How to read script dialogue
  • The structure of a drama
  • The motivation of characters in a drama
  • How to understand stage directions

VideoObjective
What is Drama? Discover what drama means in literature and how to identify it.
Elements of Drama: Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action & Resolution Study the elements of a drama, including the climax and resolution.
The Structure of a Drama: Acts, Scenes, Prologue & Epilogue Analyze how a drama is structured.
Reading & Interpreting Dialogue from a Script or Play Learn how to read a script or play.
Interpreting the Main Idea and Purpose of a Scene Get tips on how to figure out the main idea or purpose of a scene.
The Use of Punctuation in a Drama Dialogue Explore how punctuation is used in a drama.
Identifying Stage Directions in a Drama Examine stage directions and learn how to read them.
Drawing Inference of Mood in Drama Discover how to understand the mood of a drama.
Communication of Characters in Dramas: Dialogue & Nonverbal Communication Analyze how characters communicate in a drama, including nonverbal communication.
Motivation of Characters in Dramas Examine the importance of the motivation of characters in a drama.

11 Lessons in Chapter 10: Drama
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
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.

Elements of Drama: Characters, Plot, Setting & Symbolism

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.

Plot Elements in Drama: From Exposition to Resolution

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.

Drama Structure: Acts, Scenes, Prologue & Epilogue

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.

Reading & Interpreting Dialogue from a Script or Play

5. 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

6. 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.

The Use of Punctuation in Dramatic Dialogue

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.

Identifying Stage Directions in a Drama

8. 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

9. 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

10. 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

11. 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.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 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 AP English Literature: Help and Review course

Support