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Ch 5: MTEL Middle School Humanities: Dramatic Literary Devices

About This Chapter

Explore the origins and development of the dramatic arts from classical to modern times in this chapter titled Dramatic Literary Devices. You will find this information useful as you prepare for the MTEL Middle School Humanities exam.

MTEL Middle School Humanities: Dramatic Literary Devices - Chapter Summary

This chapter covers theater and drama from ancient Greece to the present day, including key dramatic devices found in classical and contemporary plays. You will study the following material in these lessons:

  • History of theater and drama from ancient to modern eras
  • Tragedy, comedy, melodrama and farce
  • Dramatic elements: setting, characterization and more
  • Structure of a play and interpreting a scene
  • Verbal and nonverbal dialogue
  • Dramatic mood and character motivation

This refresher course offers you the choice of viewing our video lessons or reading through a fully written transcript version, as you prefer. Key terminology and vocabulary is highlighted for immediate identification and easy reference, and each quiz has links that can take you back to the lesson. This makes moving from component to component rapid and easy, saving you time and enhancing the quality of your study sessions.

MTEL Middle School Humanities: Dramatic Literary Devices Chapter Objectives

The purpose of the MTEL Middle School Humanities test is to assess the capabilities of teacher candidates seeking a humanities teaching endorsement. The test is composed of 100 multiple-choice questions, about 32 of which focus on literature and language. This subarea is weighted at 25% of the exam, and it is to this segment of the test that the lessons in this chapter are aligned. In addition to the multiple-choice part of the test, there are two open-response assignments. These require you to compose an essay or article in response to a given topic. Each of your responses must be between 150 and 300 words long. You must complete both assignments.

15 Lessons in Chapter 5: MTEL Middle School Humanities: Dramatic Literary Devices
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
History of Drama: Dramatic Movements and Time Periods

1. History of Drama: Dramatic Movements and Time Periods

Today's theatre is a mix of many styles that have been popular for hundreds of years. In this lesson, learn how each time period contributed to what we now see during a live, dramatic performance.

Serious Drama: History, Characteristics & Types

2. Serious Drama: History, Characteristics & Types

Tragedies are serious plays in which the characters face dire consequences, either because of their own actions or because it is their destiny. In this lesson, we will find out more about types of serious plays.

Tragedy in Drama: Classical to Modern

3. 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.

Dramatic Comedy: History and Types

4. 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.

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

5. 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.

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.

Elements of Drama: Characters, Plot, Setting & Symbolism

7. 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

8. 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

9. 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

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.

The Use of Punctuation in Dramatic Dialogue

12. 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.

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.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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Other Chapters

Other chapters within the MTEL Middle School Humanities (50): Practice & Study Guide course

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