varieties of drama ppp

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Chapter 6
Varieties of Drama
Tragedy
The protagonist fails to achieve goals, is
overcome by opposing forces, often dies
 Sober, thoughtful plays that are based on
profound human emotions and conflicts
that do not change with time or place
 Based on Aristotle’s rules (tragic flaw,
unities, catharsis)

comedy
Protagonist “wins”
 Humorous characters and situations
 Happy ending
 Based on “thought”
 Comes from Greek word “komos” meaning
“revel song”

Tragicomedies – plays that have qualities
of both tragedy and comedy
 Dramas – plays that do not fit the
definition of tragedy but are serious in
nature are simply called dramas.

7 causes of laughter
Exaggeration
 Overstatement in dialogue, action, or
physical characteristics
 Understatement

incongruity

Anything that is out of time, place, or
character
Anticipation
Looking forward to a potential laugh
 At least 3 exposures – the plant, establish,
and the clinch

Ambiguity
Double meaning
 Puns

Recognition
Discovering hidden or obscure meanings
 “getting it”

Protection

Knowing that cruel, violent, grotesque and
abusive actions and events are not real
Relief

Anything humorous used to release built
up pressure (often used in tragedies)
Types of comedy
Low – quite physical, sometimes vulgar,
and highly exaggerated
 Farce – clowning, practical jokes,
“slapstick,” improbable characters and
situations
 Burlesque – mocks a broad topic
 Caricature – impersonations – often
exaggerations of physical features or
personality traits

Middle comedy – humor that appeals to
the heart
 Romantic comedy
 Melodrama – flawless hero + evil villain

High comedy – very intellectual
 Comedy of manners
 Satire
 Clever lines, word play, and allusions

Style theatrical conventions
Representational – “fourth wall” theater
The play is performed as if the audience
were watching through an imaginary
fourth wall. (most common)
 Presentational – acknowledges that an
audience is present. Characters may even
address the audience.
 Avant-garde – new experimental styles of
any art form

Styles of Drama
Classicism – based on Greek, Roman, or
Shakespearean theater
 Fantasy – unreal characters in imaginary
time and place
 Romanticism – shows life as it could be
 Realism – shows life as it is
 Naturalism – realism to the extreme “no
holds barred”

Symbolism – where at least one element
represent something else
 Expressionism – the uselessness of human
hopes in the face of the evils of the
modern age – social injustice
 Impressionism – shows the inner reactions
of characters under great stress

Theater of involvement – audience
participation
 Theater of the absurd – deal with the
“absurdity” of life

Special styles
Children’s theater – written, designed, and
performed for children
 Puppet theater –
 Monodrama – “one man show”

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