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Shakespearean Drama. Vocabulary and Terms. Shakespeare’s Plays. 3 categories Tragedy: a play that traces the main character’s downfall Ex: Comedy: a play that ends happily and usually contains many humorous elements Ex: History: a play that chronicles the life of an English monarch

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shakespearean drama

Shakespearean Drama

Vocabulary and Terms

shakespeare s plays
Shakespeare’s Plays
  • 3 categories
    • Tragedy: a play that traces the main character’s downfall
    • Ex:
    • Comedy: a play that ends happily and usually contains many humorous elements
    • Ex:
    • History: a play that chronicles the life of an English monarch
    • Ex:
tragedy and the tragic hero
Tragedy and the Tragic Hero
  • Shakespeare’s tragedies are often called his “greatest plays.”
  • Every tragedy contains a “tragic hero”
    • Tragic hero: a main character who goes through a series of events that lead to his/her downfall
qualities of a tragic hero
Qualities of a Tragic Hero
  • Possesses importance or high rank
  • Exhibits extraordinary talents
  • Displays a tragic flaw—an error in judgment or defect in character—that leads to downfall
  • Faces downfall with courage and dignity
soliloquy and aside
Soliloquy and Aside
  • Shakespeare uses soliloquies and asides even though these are not things that are used in real life.
  • Soliloquy: a long speech given by a character while alone on stage to reveal his or her private thoughts or intentions. (monologue)
  • Aside: a character’s quiet remark to the audience or another character that no one else on stage is supposed to hear. A stage direction (often in brackets) indicates an aside
aside example
Aside Example

Trebonius: Caesar, I will. [Aside] And so near will I be

That your best friends shall wish I had been further.

The audience is meant to hear the aside, but not Caesar.

What does the aside suggest?

dramatic irony
Dramatic Irony
  • Irony: the contrast between appearance and reality
  • Dramatic Irony: when the reader or audience knows something that one or more of the characters do not know.
  • EX: In Romeo and Juliet when we know Juliet is married to Romeo, but her parents do not.
  • Other examples in R and J?
verbal irony
Verbal Irony
  • Verbal irony = when you say one thing and mean another (sarcasm is a type of verbal irony generally associated with a tone of voice)
  • Example = When Ms. Blea says she’s happy to see your enthusiasm when you are yawning
situational irony
Situational Irony
  • Situational irony = When the unexpected happens
  • Example – A fire station catches on fire

Last slide

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