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Literary Terms related to Drama or Play in Literature

 Literary Terms related to Drama or Play in Literature

Literary Terms related to Drama or Play in Literature

    👉 One-act play

    A play that has a solo performance is called a solo play. It is a kind of drama equivalent to a short story. Single dramas like short stories also need haste and business of the present time. Of course, this is a full-length dramatic plot, with the usual requirements of character, layout, dialogue and impressions. Performance should be given in a short time - from half an hour to one.

    In modern theater, it is a popular form of drama and includes all genres of tragedy, comedy, and tragedy-comedy. Singe’s Riders to the Sea is an important tragedy in a single act.

    👉 Chronicle play / History Play

    Chronicle play refers to a drama based on historical events and characters. It can be taken as a dramatic account of an age, person and event, in fact historical. Such nationalist dramas are often referred to as chronicle dramas because they are found by Rafael Holinshed and others to be related to historical material in the English chronicle. Marlowe's Edward II is the first successful, coherent historical or chronicle drama. Shakespeare's Chronicle Drama Series — Richard II, Richard III, Henry IV (Parts I and II) and Henry V and many more - need to be mentioned here.

    In the case of such historical or chronicle dramas, it must be remembered that absolute fidelity to historical events and characters is not always possible. Exclusions, deviations, condensations, and even innovations are available here and there to suit dramatic needs or to serve dramatic effectiveness.

    👉 Roman Play

    Roman plays refer to plays related to Roman history during the great domination of Roman power. Such plays represent the powerful reigns of some of the great Roman leaders and generals, including their successes and failures, victories and tragedies.

    They are basically political in character and somewhat elaborate in presentation. Among such Roman plays, two of Shakespeare's greatest plays can be mentioned - Julius Caesar and Anthony and Cleopatra. They relate to important political events in Roman history. The former drama deals with the conspiracy of Republican leaders against the powerful Julius Caesar who was killed by them. The other play represents the passionate love of Anthony and Cleopatra which proved to be foolish and catastrophic for them.

    Bernard Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra is based on the Roman history of the love affair between Caesar and the Egyptian beauty Cleopatra.

    👉 Problem play

    The problem play, as the name suggests, deals with a problem or problem, can be in private life or social. Such a play deals with an issue of contemporary social life and brings to the fore some problems or issues that the individual or society deals with. These problems affect and hinder personal happiness and social harmony. The purpose of play is to imitate or present such problems and their effect on individual and social life.

    In modern theater, a shift from divine harm and personal hamartia to social inconsistency and conflict is felt. The steering motive-force is society and social power, shaping human destiny. A conscientious playwright of modern times is found to be interested in the social life in which he is involved and effectively deals with various social problems and inconsistencies and contradictions in his plays, tragedy, comedy or tragedy-comedy. It has a recognized purpose for highlighting the role of society and the impact of social power on human relationships, happiness and harmony.

    John Galsworthy is a unique name among the English writers of modern problem plays, his famous plays such as Loyalty, Strife, Justice and many more. Of course, Ibsen, the great master, the pioneer playwright of the sphere. A.W. Pinero, H.A. Jones and Granville Barker are some of the other notable names here. Of course, George Bernard Shaw's classic comedies are concerned with some stagnant social issues. Modern trends in the dramatic rise of problems in volatile modern society can be found in John Osborne's Look Back in Anger and Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party.

    👉 Naturalist play

    In dramatic literature, naturalism refers to a highly realistic, isolated presentation or imitation of life, as in play. It has to do with what is absolutely true for existence. In Emil Zola's view, it is complete objectivity, depiction of reality, with almost photographic precision.

    Naturalism emerged in European theater in the last decade of the nineteenth century, and in the early twentieth century British became a powerful and positive force in the world of play.

    This kind of play shows the true loyalty to natural existence in the conventional time. The play is often referred to as a 'replica of real life, supported by the life of the street man, his natural problems and misfortunes with the necessary stage accessories for his life. The playwright here is a scientific observer who seems to follow the method of science by studying men and women in their normal lives and activities.

    The characters here are set against the backdrop of their natural environment so that they can ‘not play, but survive in front of the audience’.

    The predominance of naturalism in the theater is particularly marked in Galsworthy, whose plays, such as Justice, The Silver Box and Strife, present, without exaggerating the pressure or influence of the situation, have some basic social problems. These problems, however serious they may seem, are treated in a serious natural way. The characters involved in this type of problem are ordinary, ordinary men and women who can be seen on any street or alley and are shown in their daily lives. An excellent example of such a natural play is John Osborne's Look Back in Anger (1956), where situations and characters are perfectly true to their time.

    👉 Epic Theater

    The term originated from the German playwright Brecht who came out of the stage in a conventional auditorium and tried to set the action on a larger scale. 'Epic' means dimension’ and ‘Epic Theater’ means Dimension Theater. What is meant here is an ambitious form of drama which seeks to treat modern life with all its concomitant problems on a larger scale. It is a kind of socio-political dramatic presentation and captures a wide range of traditional and established forms, including Brecht's Mother Courage.

    👉 Feminist Theater

    It refers to the theater that allows feminist playwrights to pre-dominate. It originated in the 60s of the 19th century through the American playwright Megan Terry with the significant increase in the number of feminist playwrights and the formation of theater troupes for women in acting and production. Feminist theater has a unique and recognized position in today's world of drama. Important names in this context include Carrill Churchill, Pam James and Mikelin Wonder.

    👉 Absurd Theater

    The term refers to a type of dramatic construction consistent with conventional drama, tragedy or comedy. The word "irrational" is used in the sense of "awkward", rather "weird".

    A play belonging to the Absurd Theater seems somewhat irrational in its concept of dramatic subject matter as well as dramatic technique. Beckett's Waiting for Godot is a fine example of absurd drama. In the play, Waiting for Godot, the two trumps are waiting for an unknown Godot near an empty tree, which never comes. When they wait, they talk, but the dialogue gets nowhere. Their existence is irrational and meaningless. A new sense of reality is found in modern life to refer to Beckett's play where words are uttered without reason, hope, conviction or belief.

    👉 Anti-Theater

    The term was coined sometime in 1950. It refers to a drama that is natural, traditional, and not conventional. Thus, it is the theater that goes against or actively violates the recognized laws and regulations of theatrical art.

    👉 Anti-play

    It is a dramatic work that not only ignores the traditional way but also actively distorts it. There is no significant plot and the characters have little development. Conversations are often unnecessary or completely disconnected. The playwrights of the Absurd Theater have used anti-play techniques, although sometimes they have been found to be really very successful.

    👉 Well-made play

    The well-constructed drama is a subtle, all-encompassing structure where the plot progresses smoothly towards inevitable consequences, and men and women are normal social creatures with normal, goals and ways of life.

    Such a drama has a conventional beginning, in a regular environment, and progresses to a definite conclusion. It's a kind of neat, mechanical game. Both Ibsen and Shaw use well-constructed drama formulas with their melodic plots, but react against its bitter morality by emphasizing contemporary social or moral questions.

    👉 Dramatic structure

    An important trend relates to the plot structure of the play. Aristotle created the idea that drama has a beginning, middle and an end. The start sets the situation and starts working which is complex and develops in the middle. Tragedy in tragedy and conclusion in comedy comes to an end. There are no sub-divisions between the various acts and scenes in Greek drama, but they do contain the Chronic Odds, introduced in a planned way, to divide the action into different parts and to maintain the structural symmetry of the plot.

    This trend is found in romantic and subsequent plays. The play has a plot-structure of five acts; each law has a different scene. The five-act drama convention is based on the structural division of the plot into five parts - revelation or initial event, development or rising action, crisis, climax or turning point, falling action, resolution, or catastrophe or catastrophe or conclusion.

    In modern theater, however, the Five-Act Convention is no longer followed. Now there are dramas with three or four acts. Galsworthy's Strife and Loyalties and Shaw's Arms and the Man, for example, have three laws, where the former judge has four laws. Ibsen's famous plays are A Doll's House and The Ghosts and Osborne's Look Back in Anger and three acts. The two most famous dramas of the present century, Shaw's Man and Superman and Beckett's Waiting for Godot, do not follow the five-act pattern.

    Moreover, now there is a lot of drama, tragedy as well as comedy for just one performance. Synge's Riders to the Sea, a famous tragedy, Jacob's The Monkey's Paw, another interesting tragedy include in this genre. Stanley Houghton's The Dear Departed, a hilarious comedy, and Lady Gregory's patriotic play The Rising of the Moon are just a few examples of successful modern one-act plays here.

    The convention of five-act plays, however, is not entirely void. Ibsen's enemy of the people and Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra are two obvious modern dramas to continue the conference. What really matters here is the flexibility of the dramatic artistry to best fit the material and objectives of the playwright.

    👉 Romance

    'Romance' in particular refers to Shakespeare's last plays, comedy, of course, somewhat different from his earlier plays. These are not his serious, realistic dramas, be they tragedy, comedy or tragedy-comedy, firmly planted in the real, familiar world - Denmark or Belmont. These are rather stylistic dramas, moving far away, but all compact in the magical world of imagination. The realistic human or social interest of his earlier plays is no more and has been replaced by some magic story in an unknown environment. The Winter's Tale and The Tempest, especially Shakespeare's leading romances are of this kind.

    👉 Literary play

    The play that deals with church worship is called a liturgical play. The mystery and miracle drama had a religious origin and it belongs to the liturgical drama. Such a drama introduces drama in all civilized countries.

    👉 Mystery play

    The mystery drama was a liturgical drama of medieval England. It was based on scripture. Here dramatic material has been taken from the classical story. It was originally played inside the church, but was later served on the market and eventually on the moving stage.

    👉 Miracle play

    The Miracle Drama was a part of the Literary Drama and was popular in medieval England. It was a sister game of mystery, with only one difference. The life of the saints was that theme instead of the classical story. As its main component, there were divine miracles and the Christian message for the spiritual uplift of the masses.

    👉 Morality play

    After mystery and miracles, new forms of drama came in the fifteenth century. This is known as morality or moral game, because of its morality or educational tendency. It does not treat classical stories or the lives of saints. It is found rather related to abstract-abstract human qualities. The material is the moral aspect of human life, man in his evil temptations and in his moral triumphs.

    The characters are either personal abstractions or metaphorical personalities. The purpose, as mentioned, is to bring the moral and spiritual heights of the listener's advice here. Although presented in the form of verses like Mystery and Miracle, it is longer with a structural division, even in the form of acting and scenes in some plays.

    👉 Background music and sound

    A technical instrument in modern theater is the employment of background music and background sound. This means, of course, that the music or the word is coming from the background, meaning its origin on stage is not clear. Background music is used in stage plays to enhance the dramatic effect. It reflects the sensitive melody (joy or sorrow) of the scene presented. Background sound, on the other hand, is used to indicate sounds that create the necessary realistic setting for the appropriate dramatic effect.

    👉 Closet drama

    A play, often written in verse, which is read instead of acting, although it also includes acting, scenes, dialogues, and sometimes stage direction, is known as closet drama. Many closet plays have been written in imitation of the dramatic works and styles of some earlier literary eras or periods.

    However, this does not indicate that a closet is not suitable for a drama stage. Such dramas can be seen on the stage. Still these plays make for better reading than acting in theater because staging problems can often be in their settings or themes. The best examples of closet dramas are Milton's Samson Agonistes, Byron's Manfred, Shelley's The Cenci and W.H. Auden's The Ascent of F6.

    👉 Pantomime or dumb show

    The pantomime performs without a speech, using only a gesture, gesture, or physical movement, an exaggerated, facial expression mime ("fake") to express a character's actions and a character's feelings. In ancient Greece and Rome, pantomimes were worn halfway between drama and dance. The form was revived, usually for comic purposes, in Renaissance Europe.

    Fake plays became popular in eighteenth-century England. It was found to have evolved into silent film in the twentieth century. It proved to be the winner in Charlie Chaplin's extraordinary pantomime. This tradition continues here and there in America and England.

    👉 Ballet

    It is a kind of dramatic performance without any dialogue or verbal expression. It is actually a dance-drama in which a story is portrayed by a group of dancers. This dance is accompanied by musical tunes.

    There are also water balloons where dance-dramas have been created on the surface of some lakes or rivers or artificial reservoirs.

    👉 Opera

    Opera is, without a doubt, a kind of drama, but a musical. Here the dramatic action is set in whole or in part to the music. But in all cases, the musical part constitutes an essential element of the play and not an accessory. Content can be thematic or descriptive.

    👉 Open stage play

    It refers to a play performed on a completely open stage for the audience. Such plays are not performed inside the theater-house, but in the open air, under the wide sky, and in direct contact with the audience. All kinds of performances can be given on the open stage.

    👉 Interlude

    Interlude is a short play, very popular in England in the sixteenth century. It is called because it is presented between dinner and leisure or in a dramatic performance and other form of entertainment. It's mostly ridiculous, witty and funny. Howd is a popular name as the author of Interlude.

    The Pride of Life (c. 1300-25); Mankind (1465-70); The Castell of Perseverance (1400-25); Wisdom (1460–63); Medwall’s Fulgens and Lucrece (1490–1500); Youth (c. 1515-28); Heywood’s The Play of the Wether (c. 1527); A Play of Love (c. 1534); Thersites (1537); The Four P’s (c. 1545); Redford’s Wit and Science (c. 1531-47); Respublica, possibly by Nicholas Udall (c. 1533); Appius and Virginia (c. 1567); Like Will to Like (c. 1567) are some notable examples of Interlude plays.


    Read also:

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    👉 What is a Short Story? | Its features and significance  

    👉 What is a Narrative Poem? | Importance of Narrative Poems  

    👉 What is a Metaphysical poetry? | Explain its features 

    👉 What is Comic Relief? | What role does it play in literature? 

    👉 Common Figures of Speech | in English Literature 

    👉 Literary Terms related to Drama or Play | in English Literature 

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