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Ch 9: World Literature: Drama

About This Chapter

Watch online video lessons to learn about the different aspects of drama, including comedic and dramatic forms, dramatic symbolism, the history of drama and more. Each lesson is accompanied by a short multiple-choice quiz to help check your understanding of these drama topics.

World Literature: Drama - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

In all likelihood, some of the movies you've seen or television shows that you've watched have included a drama. Maybe you've even read a dramatic literary work in a book. What is drama? Are there certain characteristics that are common to dramatic presentations? In this chapter, you'll learn how to determine if a literary piece can be classified as a drama, and explore the different types of drama, such as comedies and tragedies. You'll also learn how to analyze dramatic works and examine some famous dramas. Topics will also include:

  • Dramatic styles
  • History of drama
  • Symbolism in drama
  • Types of dramatic comedies

VideoObjective
What is Drama? - Terms, Time Periods and Styles Take a look at the basic types of dramatic writing and terms, including classical drama, morality plays, Renaissance theatre, modernism and realism.
History of Drama: Dramatic Movements and Time Periods Examine the different historical periods of drama.
Elements of Drama: Characters, Plot, Setting & Symbolism Find out how to apply literary elements to dramas.
Tragedy in Drama: Classical to Modern Explore the tragedy.
Dramatic Comedy: History and Types Discover the dramatic comedy, including black comedy and tragicomedy.
Dramatic Farce: History, Examples and Playwrights Study the farce.
Elements of Melodrama: From Early Theater to the Modern Soap Opera Take a look at the elements of melodrama.
Mixed Form Drama: Epic, Theatre of the Absurd, Expressionism and Surrealism Learn about mixed- form drama and terms, such as epic theatre, theatre of the absurd, expressionism and theatre of cruelty.
Analyzing Dramatic Works: Theme, Character Development & Staging Discover how to interpret and analyze dramatic pieces.
Waiting for Godot: Plot, Characters, and Style Find out about Beckett's circular dialogue style, and get an overview of the plot and characters in the play.
Eugene O'Neill: Biography and Major Plays Learn about O'Neill as a modernist playwright.
Tennessee Williams: Biography, Works, and Style Study Williams as a playwright in the contemporary period.
Arthur Miller: Biography and Major Plays Examine Miller as a playwright in the contemporary period.

16 Lessons in Chapter 9: World Literature: 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.

History of Drama: Dramatic Movements and Time Periods

2. 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.

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.

Tragedy in Drama: Classical to Modern

4. 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

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.

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

7. 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

8. 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.

Epic Theatre: Brecht

9. Epic Theatre: Brecht

Communism? 'Mack the Knife'? Verfremdung? Wonder what these have in common or what they even mean? Find out how epic theatre united these with the hope of making social changes.

Theatre of Cruelty: Artaud

10. Theatre of Cruelty: Artaud

Most of us watch movies or television shows to relax or escape reality, not as a means of reform. In this video, learn how Antonin Artaud's Theatre of Cruelty tries to shock the audience into becoming better people.

Theatre of the Absurd

11. Theatre of the Absurd

You've heard the word 'absurd,' but did you know it was a type of theatre? Watch this video to see how the absurdity of World War II helped promote the Theatre of the Absurd.

Analyzing Dramatic Works: Theme, Character Development & Staging

12. Analyzing Dramatic Works: Theme, Character Development & Staging

If 'All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players,' then why does analyzing a dramatic script seem so difficult? Find out how to make analyzing dramatic works easier with a four-step process in this video lesson.

Waiting for Godot:  Plot, Characters, and Style

13. Waiting for Godot: Plot, Characters, and Style

In this lesson, we'll explore Samuel Beckett's groundbreaking play, Waiting for Godot. We'll look at its main characters, Vladimir and Estragon, and hear an example of their circular, sometimes nonsensical banter. We'll also briefly discuss the play's legacy in modern theater.

Eugene O'Neill: Biography and Major Plays

14. 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.

Tennessee Williams: Biography, Works, and Style

15. 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.'

Arthur Miller: Biography and Major Plays

16. 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.

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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