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Dramatic Lit Terms

1st 20 terms; Mr. Killion

playwright an author of plays
script a written copy of plays
act large sections of the play, like chapters in a book
scene smaller sections of the play, acts are usually made up of several scenes
line(s) the words spoken aloud by the characters
stage directions a playwright's descriptive or interpretive comments that provide readers (and actors) with information about the dialogue, setting, and action of a play
monologue a speech by a single character without another character's response
dialogue 2 or more characters having a conversation
aside words spoken by an actor directly to the audience, which are not "heard" by the other characters on stage during a play
soliloquy a speech in a play that is meant to be heard by the audience but not by other characters on the stage; if there are no other characters present, the soliloquy represents the character thinking aloud
chorus a group of characters in Greek tragedy (and in later forms of drama), who comment on the action of a play without participation in it; their leader is the choragos
thespian an actor, derived from Thespis the first actor to step out of the chorus to play a character
tragedy a type of drama in which the characters experience reversals of fortune, usually for the worse; in tragedy, catastrophe and suffering await many of the characters, especially the hero
tragic hero a privileged, exalted character of high repute, who, by virtue of a tragic flaw and fate, suffers a fall from glory into suffering
tragic flaw a weakness or limitation of character, resulting in the fall of the tragic hero
hubris excessive pride, this is a very common tragic flaw of the protagonists in tragedies
catastrophe the action at the end of a tragedy that initiates the denouncement or falling action of a play
catharsis the purging of the feelings of pity and fear that, according to Aristotle, occur in the audience of tragic drama; the audience experiences catharsis at the end of the play, following the catastrophe
conventions a customary feature of a literary work, such as the use of a chorus in Greek tragedy. Literary conventions are defining features of particular literary genres.
dramatic irony when the audience knows more than the characters do
Created by: makanjuolae