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Reading drama

Leticia Coln Burgos Engl. 603: Analysis of Literary Genres Dr. Margarita Banchs Sept. 21st, 2013

Reading drama or plays requires more effort from us, as readers, than reading fiction because it is a genre specifically intended and designed to be presented to an audience. The purpose of this presentation is to show how can we, as readers, enjoy a play, not in front of our eyes, but with our imagination, emotions and judgement by analyzing its elements: plot, setting, characters, discourse and scenery.

Means action in Greek language. Fiction presented in performance. Origins: Antique Greece (there are registries of drama competitions in 5th century before Christ Era).

Drama elements
According to Aristotle (c. 330 B.C.), dramas or plays have six (6) elements: 1. Plot: The most essential part of a play, must unify coherently events in the story and should have beginning, middle, and end. 2. Characters: Contribute to the story and its plot by their traits, actions, beliefs and behavior.

3. Thought or Discourse: Points of view and emotions expressed by characters. 4. Diction: Vocabulary used in the play. 5. Scenery Necessary when 6. Music play is performed.

How can we read drama?

In order to be comprehended and interpreted, drama relies upon our imagination and critical thinking. We have to assume the roles of both the director and cast by questioning and exploring: Setting selection: Which setting could I use to recreate this scene? Cast selection: Which actor would be ideal for this role?

Character traits: Based upon the plot, which characteristics and attitudes I want to highlight in each one of the characters? How would they look like? Characterization: How the characters will interact with each other and/or the setting?
Protagonist/antagonist (supportive or opposite) Strong character/weak character

Conflict: Which characters are at conflict, and why is the reason (for example, ideals, politics)? Is the conflict between the protagonist and himself? Speech: How is speech and vocabulary employed in the play, and for which purpose? Does drama uses familiar speaking and vocabulary, poetry, comedy, or irony?

Reading drama, although more challenging than fiction, is an adventure that we shouldnt miss at all. Also, as educators, we can take advantage of this literary genre by incorporating it in our English class activities to both stimulate our students creativity and enrich their learning experience.