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Play Analysis. An outline to analyze for technical elements. Initial Information to look for:. Name of the Play Period of the Play (When was it written? In what year does the story occur?) The Playwright Target Audience (Who was the play written for?)

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play analysis

Play Analysis

An outline to analyze for technical elements

initial information to look for
Initial Information to look for:
  • Name of the Play
  • Period of the Play (When was it written? In what year does the story occur?)
  • The Playwright
  • Target Audience (Who was the play written for?)
  • Genre of the play (i.e.-tragedy, comedy, drama, farce, melodrama)
  • Playwright’s Purpose (WHY did they write this play?)
let s start with the playwright
Let’s start with the playwright!
  • Birth/death (date AND location)
  • Education
  • Jobs/professions
  • Other writings or published works
  • Theatrical contributions/awards
  • Did any of this information influence the play?
next comes the background of the play
Next comes the background of the play:

-Time and place the play was WRITTEN, and what was important~Major political figures ~Major world events ~Anything interesting that happened ~Do these events influence the play?

-Time and place the play is SET, and what was important ~Major political figures ~Major world events ~Anything interesting that happened ~Do these events influence the play?

next is to read the play
Next is to read the play!
  • Which means…

READ

THE

PLAY!

I’m talking to YOU….

now make an outline of events in the play
Now make an outline of events in the play
  • Breakdown of play by acts and scenes

-Plot development (What happened during each scene?)

-Settings (Where did each scene take place?)

-Characters (Who did the audience encounter in each scene?)

theme
Theme
  • Theme- the subject matter of a play
  • Major Themes- What is/are the most important lessons the playwright is trying to teach?
  • Minor Themes- What other lessons might the playwright be trying to teach?
who is this play about
Who is this play about?
  • Protagonist- the leading character

-Motivation (What does this character truly want?)

-Fatal flaw or comic weakness (What is it about their personality that keeps them from getting what they want?)

-Character evolvement/changes (How do they change throughout the play?)

  • Antagonist- the “villain”, or the one against the protagonist
  • Other characters:

-What is their function in relation to protagonist?

-What is their function within the structure of play?

lets talk more about what actually happened in the play
Lets talk more about what actually happened in the play…
  • Plot- the sequence of events in a play, the storyline
  • Main Action- The most important story happening in the play
  • Subplots- Any other stories happening at the same time
the use of dramatic devices
The use of dramatic devices
  • You may remember these from language arts class!
  • Alliteration: The repetition of consonant sounds within close proximity, usually in consecutive words within the same sentence or line

~She sells seashells by the seashore! (The letter S is the alliteration)

  • Dramatic irony: Where the audience is aware of something important, of which the characters in the story are not aware
  • Foreshadowing: Where future events in a story, or perhaps the outcome, are suggested by the author before they happen. Foreshadowing can take many forms and be accomplished in many ways, with varying degrees of subtlety.
the use of dramatic devices1
The use of dramatic devices
  • Hyperbole: A description which exaggerates, usually employing extremes and/or superlatives to convey a positive or negative attribute

~I’m so hungry I could eat a horse! ~Math class lasts for hours!

  • Imagery: Language which describes something in detail, using words to substitute for and create sensory stimulation, including visual imagery and sound imagery
  • Irony (a.k.a. Situational irony): Where an event occurs which is unexpected, in the sense that it is somehow in absurd or mocking opposition to what would be expected or appropriate.
the use of dramatic devices2
The use of dramatic devices
  • Metaphor: A direct relationship where one thing or idea substitutes for another
  • Oxymoron: A contradiction in terms (i.e.- CivilWar)
  • Personification: Where inanimate objects or abstract concepts given human-like qualities (i.e. Disney movies with talking animals)
use of dramatic devices
Use of dramatic devices
  • Simile: An indirect relationship where one thing or idea is described as being similar to another. Similes contain the words “like” or “as”.
  • Symbolism: The use of specific, tangible objects or images to represent abstract ideas.
  • Verbal irony: Where the meaning of a specific expression is, or is intended to be, the exact opposite of what the words literally mean
what is the type of language used
What is the type of language used?
  • Realistic- familiar words in a way that is accurate or true to life
  • Heroic- constituting drama written during the Restoration and is concerned with a conflict between love and honor
  • Archaic- language that is old and no longer useful
  • Poetic- words that have a beautiful or graceful quality
  • Contemporary- language from the current time period
  • Ethnic- words or phrases that are used by a specific group of people/ethnicity
  • Original- never been changed from the first way it was written
setting the period of style
Setting the period of style
  • Scene changes or changes within single set as play progresses
  • Mood- the emotion of a particular scene/play
  • Essential scenic elements- Are there any technical things that happen during the play that are important to the story? (i.e. set changes, costume notes, important lighting or sound?