Drama terminology

HideShow resource information
allegory
A symbolic narrative in which the surface details imply a secondary meaning.
1 of 55
antagonist
A character or force against which another character struggles
2 of 55
aside
Words spoken by an actor directly to the audience, which are not "heard" by the other characters on stage during a play.
3 of 55
assonance
The repetition of similar vowel sounds in a sentence or a line of poetry or prose, as in "I rose and told him of my woe."
4 of 55
catastrophe
The action at the end of a tragedy that initiates the denouement or falling action of a play.
5 of 55
catharsis
The purging of the feelings of pity and fear that, according to Aristotle, occur in the audience of tragic drama
6 of 55
characterization
The means by which writers present and reveal character. Although techniques of characterization are complex, writers typically reveal characters through their speech, dress, manner, and actions
7 of 55
comedy
type of drama in which the characters experience reversals of fortune, usually for the better. In comedy, things work out happily in the end. Comic drama may be either romantic--characterized by a tone of tolerance and geniality--or satiric.
8 of 55
comic relief
The use of a comic scene to interrupt a succession of intensely tragic dramatic moments. The comedy of scenes offering comic relief typically parallels the tragic action that the scenes interrupt.
9 of 55
complication
An intensification of the conflict in a story or play. Complication builds up, accumulates, and develops the primary or central conflict in a literary work.
10 of 55
connotation
The associations called up by a word that goes beyond its dictionary meaning.
11 of 55
denotation
The dictionary meaning of a word
12 of 55
donouement
The resolution of the plot of a literary work.
13 of 55
dramatic monologue
A type of poem in which a speaker addresses a silent listener. As readers, we overhear the speaker in a dramatic monologue
14 of 55
exposition
The first stage of a fictional or dramatic plot, in which necessary background information is provided.
15 of 55
fable
A brief story with an explicit moral provided by the author. Fables typically include animals as characters.
16 of 55
falling action
In the plot of a story or play, the action following the climax of the work that moves it towards its denouement or resolution.
17 of 55
figuritive language
A form of language use in which writers and speakers convey something other than the literal meaning of their words
18 of 55
flashback
An interruption of a work's chronology to describe or present an incident that occurred prior to the main time frame of a work's action.
19 of 55
foil
A character who contrasts and parallels the main character in a play or story
20 of 55
the fourth wall
The imaginary wall of the box theater setting, supposedly removed to allow the audience to see the action.
21 of 55
gesture
The physical movement of a character during a play. Gesture is used to reveal character, and may include facial expressions as well as movements of other parts of an actor's body. Sometimes a playwright will be very explicit about both bodily and fac
22 of 55
hyperbole
A figure of speech involving exaggeration
23 of 55
iamb
An unstressed syllable followed by a stressed one, as in to-DAY.
24 of 55
image
A concrete representation of a sense impression, a feeling, or an idea. Imagery refers to the pattern of related details in a work
25 of 55
imagery
The pattern of related comparative aspects of language, particularly of images, in a literary work
26 of 55
literal language
A form of language in which writers and speakers mean exactly what their words denote
27 of 55
meter
The measured pattern of rhythmic accents in poem
28 of 55
metonymy
A figure of speech in which a closely related term is substituted for an object or idea
29 of 55
pathos
A quality of a play's action that stimulates the audience to feel pity for a character.
30 of 55
point of view
The angle of vision from which a story is narrated
31 of 55
protagonist
The main character of a literary work
32 of 55
quatrain
A four-line stanza in a poem, the first four lines and the second four lines in a Petrachan sonnet
33 of 55
recognition
The point at which a character understands his or her situation as it really is
34 of 55
resolution
The sorting out or unraveling of a plot at the end of a play, novel, or story
35 of 55
reversal
The point at which the action of the plot turns in an unexpected direction for the protagonist.
36 of 55
rising action
A set of conflicts and crises that constitute the part of a play's or story's plot leading up to the climax
37 of 55
satire
A literary work that criticizes human misconduct and ridicules vices, stupidities, and follies
38 of 55
soliloquy
A speech in a play that is meant to be heard by the audience but not by other characters on the stage. If there are no other characters present, the soliloquy represents the character thinking aloud.
39 of 55
style
The way an author chooses words, arranges them in sentences or in lines of dialogue or verse, and develops ideas and actions with description, imagery, and other literary techniques
40 of 55
sub-plot
A subsidiary or subordinate or parallel plot in a play or story that coexists with the main plot.
41 of 55
symbol
An object or action in a literary work that means more than itself, that stands for something beyond itself.
42 of 55
synedoche
A figure of speech in which a part is substituted for the whole. An example: "Lend me a hand."
43 of 55
syntax
The grammatical order of words in a sentence or line of verse or dialogue. The organization of words and phrases and clauses in sentences of prose, verse, and dialogue
44 of 55
tercet
A three-line stanza,
45 of 55
tragedy
A type of drama in which the characters experience reversals of fortune, usually for the worse. In tragedy, catastrophe and suffering await many of the characters, especially the hero
46 of 55
tragic flaw
A weakness or limitation of character, resulting in the fall of the tragic hero
47 of 55
tragic hero
A privileged, exalted character of high repute, who, by virtue of a tragic flaw and fate, suffers a fall from glory into suffering
48 of 55
understatement
A figure of speech in which a writer or speaker says less than what he or she means; the opposite of exaggeration
49 of 55
unities
The idea that a play should be limited to a specific time, place, and story line. The events of the plot should occur within a twenty-four hour period, should occur within a give geographic locale, and should tell a single story
50 of 55
villanelle
A nineteen-line lyric poem that relies heavily on repetition. The first and third lines alternate throughout the poem, which is structured in six stanzas --five tercets and a concluding quatrain
51 of 55
theatrical realism
A movement in late 19th-century drama that aimed to replacethe artificial romantic style with accurate depictions of plausible situations.
52 of 55
naturalistic theatre
theatre that attempts to create an illusion of reality through a range of dramatic and theatrical strategies.
53 of 55
epic theatre
the idea that a play should not cause the spectator to identify emotionally with the characters or action before them, but should instead provoke rational self-reflection and a critical view of the action on the stage.
54 of 55
minimalistic theatre
simplest form and design
55 of 55

Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

A character or force against which another character struggles

Back

antagonist

Card 3

Front

Words spoken by an actor directly to the audience, which are not "heard" by the other characters on stage during a play.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

The repetition of similar vowel sounds in a sentence or a line of poetry or prose, as in "I rose and told him of my woe."

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

The action at the end of a tragedy that initiates the denouement or falling action of a play.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
View more cards

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Drama resources:

See all Drama resources »See all terminology resources »