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Types of Drama Essay

a. Comedy ? When we talk about comedy, we usually refer to plays that are light in tone, and that typically have happy endings. The intent of a comedic play is to make the audience laugh. In modern theater, there are many different styles of comedy, ranging from realistic stories, where the humor is derived from real-life situations, to outrageous slapstick humor. ?Is designed to be entertaining and humorous where misfortune ends in triumph or happiness. It presents characters with some tragic or weak characteristics which they have to overcome.

Humor is derived from their mistakes or foolish actions which dominates the episode in the plot. b. Tragedy ? Tragedy is one of the oldest forms of drama; however, its meaning has changed since the earliest days of staged plays. In ancient times, a tragedy was often an historical dramas featuring the downfall of a great man. In modern theater, the definition is a bit looser. Tragedy usually involves serious subject matter and the death of one or more main characters. These plays rarely have a happy ending. ?Is a serious drama where the protagonists begin happily and ends in misery and failure.

It emphasizes the characters more than the situation. It focuses on the tragic flaw of the main character which brings about his or her fall. ?It is brought about when the protagonist or tragic hero casts aside prudent human behavior, creates a state of disorder, and reaps the consequences of his or her actions. The crisis leads to the catastrophe, then to the resolution. The audience is drawn into the tragic situation, feels pity or fear for the characters, then experiences a catharsis as these feelings are released with the resolution of the tragedy. c. Farce?

Farce is a sub-category of comedy, characterized by greatly exaggerated characters and situations. Characters tend to be one-dimensional and often follow stereotypical behavior. Farces typically involve mistaken identities, lots of physical comedy and outrageous plot twists. ?Is a drama involving techniques of low comedy such as exaggeration of character, ridiculous situation, surprises and coincidences that result from contrived and improbable plot. d. Melodrama ? Melodrama is another type of exaggerated drama. As in farce, the characters tend to be simplified and one-dimensional.

The formulaic storyline of the classic melodrama typically involves a villain a heroine, and a hero who must rescue the heroine from the villain. ?Allows the elements of chance, luck and accidents as crucial factors in developing the plot. e. Musical ? In musical theater, the story is told not only through dialogue and acting but through music and dance. Musicals are often comedic, although many do involve serious subject matter. Most involve a large cast and lavish sets and costumes. f. Problem Play ?

Drama of social criticism discusses social, economic, or political problems by means of a play. g. Comedy of Manners ? Comedy which wittily portrays fashionable life. h. Fantasy ? A play sometimes, but not always, in comic spirit in which the author gives free reign to his fantasy, allowing things to happen without regard to reality. i. TRAGICOMEDY ? Is a play that stirs the audience to pity and fear and also to laughter.

Its happy ending is preceded by tragic events with some comic relief now and then. j. THEATER OF THE ABSURD ? Developed from a post World War II movement which emphasized the lack of meaning of human life. k. MASQUE ? Originated as a festival game and dance ritual with performers wearing masks.

l. PANTOMIME ? Is a play that does not use dialogue and is best described as silent acting; gestures, facial expressions and costumes are relied upon to convey emotional and narrative situations; it is also called a dumb show or mime. m. FEMINIST THEATRE ? Is a form of realistic play which explores the lives, problems issues and triumphs of contemporary women. 2. Subtypes of Comedy a. HIGH COMEDY ? An intellectual comedy that relies on wit or the clever use of language (such as the use of epigrams) employing sarcasm and irony as sources of humor. b.

LOW COMEDY

?Relies on jokes, slapstick behavior, gags, ridicule and humiliation as sources of humor. It makes fun of whatever it focuses on, whether visual or physical; preferring the style of popular culture. c. SATIRIC COMEDY ? Portrays human weakness or folly as being ridiculed from the viewpoint of what seems to be enlightened or superior position. It may be coolly malicious but tends to criticize the manners and morals of the people involved. 3. Subtypes of Tragedy a. CLASSICAL TRAGEDY ? Refers to the tragedies of ancient Greece and Rome and the later tragedies were patterned after them. b.

MODERN TRAGEDY

?Is a serious play in which the protagonists or tragic hero is an ordinary person of the middle or lower class (not an aristocrat) and the events of the drama are also ordinary. The flaw in the protagonist’s personality creates the tragedy and it is compounded by circumstances beyond the protagonist’s control. 4. Other Literary Devices of a Drama a. Allusion ? Is a figure of speech that makes a reference to, or representation of, people, places, events, literary work, myths, or works of art, either directly or by implication. b. Aside ? Is a dramatic device in which a character speaks to the audience.

c. Comic relief ? Is the inclusion of a humorous character, scene or witty dialogue in an otherwise serious work, often to relieve tension. d. Dramatic irony ? Is the device of giving the spectator an item of information that at least one of the characters in the narrative is unaware of. e. Foreshadowing ? Is a literary device in which an author indistinctly suggest certain plot developments that will come later in the story f. Irony ? Is a rhetorical device, literary technique, or situation in which there is an incongruity between the literal and the implied meaning. g. Metonymy ?

Is a figure of speech used in rhetoric in which a thing or concept is not called by its own name, but by the name of something intimately associated with that thing or concept. h. Personification ? Is any attribution of human characteristics (or characteristics assumed to belong only to humans) to other animals, non-living things, phenomena, material states, objects or abstract concepts, such as organizations, governments, spirits or deities. i. Simile ? Is a figure of speech that directly compares two different things, usually by employing the words “like” or “as”.

j. Soliloquy ? Is a device often used in drama when a character speaks to oneself, relating thoughts and feelings, thereby also sharing them with the audience. k. Dialogue ? Is a literary and theatrical form consisting of a written or spoken conversational exchange between two or more (“dia” means through or across) people. l. Monologue ? Is a speech presented by a single character, most often to express their thoughts aloud, though sometimes also to directly address another character or the audience.


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