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Literary and Dramatic Elements. Definitions and Examples in Romeo and Juliet. What is drama?. A story that is written to be acted for an aidience Elements include exposition, complications (rising action), climax, and resolution. What is tragedy?.

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literary and dramatic elements

Literary and Dramatic Elements

Definitions and Examples in

Romeo and Juliet

what is drama
What is drama?
  • A story that is written to be acted for an aidience
  • Elements include exposition, complications (rising action), climax, and resolution
what is tragedy
What is tragedy?
  • A play that depicts serious and important events in which the main character(s) comes to an unhappy end
  • The character’s downfall may be caused by a character flaw or by forces that are beyond human control
what is exposition
What is exposition?
  • The beginning part of a plot that gives information about the characters and their problems or conflicts
  • How the playwright lets us know what is going on in the story
what is scene design
What is scene design?
  • Sets, lights, costumes, props, all of which bring a play to life on stage
  • Furnishings and scenery that suggest the time and place of the action
what is meter
What is meter?
  • The regular patter of stressed and unstressed syllables in poetry
  • Meter provides the rhythm of a line
what is iambic pentameter
What is iambic pentameter?
  • Line of poetry that contains five iambs
  • Iambs are units of measure with an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable
  • In Shakespeare, the main characters often speak in poetry and use iambic pentameter, with the “common” people speaking prose
what is blank verse
What is blank verse?
  • Poetry written in unrhymed iambic pentameter
  • Most of Shakespeare’s plays use blank verse, especially when the main characters are speaking
  • Contrast to prose
what is a soliloquy
What is a soliloquy?
  • A long speech in which a character who is onstage alone expresses his or her thoughts aloud
  • The audience overhears the character’s private thoughts
  • Contrast to a monologue, which is any extended speech by one person, often expressed to another person
what is an aside
What is an aside?
  • Words that are spoken by a character in a play to the audience or to another character but that are not supposed to be heard by the others on the stage
  • Often noted through stage directions (italics on text of play)
what is dialogue
What is dialogue?
  • The conversation between characters in a story or a play
  • Helps audience learn about the characters and move the plot forward
what is a couplet
What is a couplet?
  • Two consecutive lines of poetry that rhyme
  • Shakespeare often uses couplets to end important speeches or a scene (signal to audience)
what is dramatic irony
What is dramatic irony?
  • When the audience knows something important that a character does not know
what is foreshadowing
What is foreshadowing?
  • The use of clues to hint at events that will occur later in the plot
  • Used to build suspense and anxiety in the audience
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