Skills Lesson: Tragedy, Drama, and Shakespeare Scenario Analysis

Read the scenario below and answer the question that follows.

An angel wants to guide an unlucky character to a place of hidden fortune.

Which structure would Shakespeare use for this scenario?

rhymed iambic pentameter

Read the scenario below and answer the question that follows.

Tim is the king of the Kingdom of Tragedy. Quick-tempered and unkind, he admonishes the faults of his staff and takes no responsibility for his mistakes and errors. He rarely relates to his people. He is proud and is eventually deposed from his throne when his people revolt.

He flees the kingdom and escapes into exile in the Kingdom of Comedy.

Does this character fulfill the characteristics of a tragic hero? Explain your answer.

Tim does not meet the requirements of a tragic hero. Though he is of noble status as a king, Tim does not relate to his people; rather, he asserts his superiority and power over them. He does, however, possess the tragic flaw of hubris (excessive pride).

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However, the audience needs to empathize with a tragic hero; Tim’s attitude and temperament do not make him sympathetic, especially when he is deposed as a result of it.

Describe the characteristics of a tragic hero.

The tragic hero possesses the following characteristics:

1. The hero is virtuous and of high status, or noble character.

2. The hero is relatable to the audience (i.e., flawed).

3. The hero must possess “hamartia,” or a tragic flaw that contributes to the downfall. A common tragic flaw is “hubris,” or excessive pride.

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4. The hero’s downfall leads to “recognition,” or a new understanding that had formerly been overlooked.

Read the scenario below and answer the question that follows.

During a play, Emily needs to convey her innermost thoughts about her deep love for Richard. She moves to her bedroom on the stage, away from the ears of other characters. The audience listens as she begins to express her emotions in a speech.

Which type of speech fits this scenario best?

Which stage direction tells a character to leave the stage?
Exeunt CAESAR and his train
According to Aristotle, what are the six elements of drama?

The six elements of drama according to Aristotle are the following:

1. Plot

2. Character

3. Thought

4. Diction

5. Song

6. Spectacle

Read the scenario below and answer the question that follows.

During a play, the audience learns from a dialogue between two characters that they planned a surprise birthday party for another character, Lucy, on her day off from work. In the next scene, Josiah, a coworker of Lucy’s, asks her to work his shift for him. She accepts. Lucy will now be working on the day of her surprise party!

Which literary term does the scenario above illustrate?

dramatic irony

Read the excerpt below from act 3.2 of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar and answer the question that follows.

I am no orator as Brutus is,
But, as you know me all, a plain blunt man
That love my friend; and that they know full well
That gave me public leave to speak of him.

Is this excerpt written in blank verse or prose? Explain your answer.

This example is written in blank verse. Blank verse is defined as a verse form using unrhymed lines of iambic pentameter, with intial capitalization. Each of these four lines fits that description. Prose has no defined meter, which eliminates this passage from being labeled prose.
Based on what you’ve learned during this lesson, why is it important for a drama, especially a tragedy, to address a theme?
Drama has a special relationship with its audience. Since the audience is engaged in the action by observing the live play, they witness firsthand the imitation of life and life lessons. Due to the serious nature of their content, tragedies cannot escape being instructive; they warn against regrettable behaviors and the effects of pride.

Read the scenario below and answer the question that follows.

The protagonist talks aloud to the audience, without other characters’ awareness, about her secret love for the antagonist.

Which structure would Shakespeare use for this scenario?


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Skills Lesson: Tragedy, Drama, and Shakespeare Scenario Analysis. (2018, Jan 05). Retrieved from

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