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Dramatic Structure

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by

Donald Formaneck

on 13 June 2013

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Transcript of Dramatic Structure

Dramatic Structure
In his Poetics the Greek philosopher Aristotle put forth the idea that "A whole is what has a beginning and middle and end".
Roman drama critic Horace advocated a 5-act structure in his Ars Poetica:
"A play should not be shorter or longer than five acts"
In 1863 German playwright and novelist Gustav Freytag wrote Die Technik des Dramas, a definitive study of the 5-act dramatic structure
Freytag's Pyramid
Exposition
Rising Action
Climax
Falling Action
Denouement


Provides the background information needed to properly understand the story
Exposition
During rising action, the basic internal conflict is complicated by the introduction of related secondary conflicts

The third act is that of the climax, or turning point, which marks a change, for the better or the worse, in the protagonist's affairs.

During the falling action, or resolution, which is the moment of reversal after the climax, the conflict between the protagonist and the antagonist unravels

Events between the falling action and the actual end of the drama or narrative and thus serves as the conclusion of the story.
Denouement
Full transcript