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Elements of Drama / Introduction to The Crucible

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by

Melissa Hackett

on 21 October 2014

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Transcript of Elements of Drama / Introduction to The Crucible

Elements of Drama
Drama:

a form of literature meant to be performed for an audience on stage by actors.
Playwright:
one who writes plays
Script:
the written text of a play, movie, or broadcast
Characters
Like fiction, dramas have one or more characters.
Characterization is achieved through STEAL
Setting
The setting of a drama can be any time (past, present, or future) and any place.
Setting is revealed through
stage directions, dialogue, scenery, and props.

Scenery is usually left up to the director.
Plot
Plot is based on the development and resolution of a
conflict
.
exposition
conflict introduced
rising action
climax
falling action
resolution
Theme
Like fiction, all dramas have at least one theme (life lesson)
These themes always relate to a wide audience.
Parts of the Script
List of Cast Members/Characters
Usually at the beginning of script
May/may not include a brief description of the characters
Dialogue
Majority of play is dialogue
Reveals plot and characterization
Appears next to characters names
Denotation & Connotation

Denotation:
Dictionary definition of the word
Ex: cheap – inexpensive; costing very little money
Connotation:
feelings associated with a word
Ex: cheap – negative; not good quality (VS. bargain – costing little money but good quality)

Stage Directions
Printed in italics
Often enclosed in (parentheses)

Tell actors 1) how to move and speak or 2) tell about the scenery and props
Can include suggestions for costume, lighting, or sound.
Stage directions are instructions for the director, performers, designers, and stage crew.
Acts & Scenes
Scene:
a subdivision of an act in a play. (Like a chapter in a book)
Acts:
a group of scenes (a major unit of a drama)
most modern plays have two acts with an intermission in between
Audience
Audience:
the people the drama is being presented to (the listeners, readers, viewers)

When creating a play, everything must be catered to the audience.
Example: A play you create for your friends would be a different than a play you create for the President.

*Why did Arthur Miller write
The Crucible
?
Think about STEAL for The Crucible
Imagine the scenery and props for The Crucible
What is the conflict in The Crucible?
Instructions written by the dramatist to describe the actions and appearance of the characters as well as sets, costumes and lighting
Comedy – A type of drama that often has a happy ending and is humorous

Tragedy:
A play in which a main character suffers a downfall.

Tragic Hero:
typically a person of dignified or heroic stature. The downfall may result from outside forces or from a weakness within the character which is known as the tragic flaw


Aside: A comment made by a character that is heard by the audience or another character but is not heard by the other characters on stage.
(speech, thoughts, effect on others, actions, looks)
Themes:
Intolerance
Hysteria
Reputation/Personal Integrity
Truth vs. Lies
Good vs. Evil
Puritanism
Protagonist: The central character in a literary work around whom the main conflict revolves

Antagonist: a character, group of characters, or institution that represents the opposition against which the protagonist must contend.

Set in a theocratic society; church and state are one; Puritan society
Moral laws and state laws are one and the same
Everyone belonged to either God or the Devil; no in between

Launching the hysteria was the bizarre, seemingly inexplicable behavior of two young girls
It began on February 29, 1692
It finally ended around September 22, 1692
Allowed people to express repressed sentiments and act on long-held grudges

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS
Clearly the villain of the play
She lies, manipulates, and sends people to their death
Driven only by sexual desire and lust for power

JOHN PROCTOR
The play’s tragic hero
A proud man who places great emphasis on his reputation
He ends up acting in the interest of personal and religious reason instead of public reasons

REVEREND HALE
The intellectual, naïve witch hunter
Has the pride of a specialist with unique knowledge on the subject
Watch for his transformation

Direct characterization: the author specifically reveals traits about the character in a direct, straightforward manner

Indirect characterization: the author indirectly portrays characters using dialogue, appearance, actions, relationships and overall place in the world

You can think of direct characterization as
telling
the reader something about the character, and indirect characterization as
showing
the reader something about the character.
TRUTH VS. FICTION

Elizabeth Proctor was pregnant during the witch trials and was saved because of it
There was never any wild dancing ritual in the woods led by Tituba.
Abigail Williams is often called Rev. Parris “niece” but there is no genealogical evidence to prove their relationship.
Miller boosted Abigail’s age to 17 even though the real girl was only 11
It is never mentioned that John Proctor was 60 and Elizabeth was 41 and his third wife.
Proctor was not a farmer but a tavern keeper.


The Salem Witch Trials of 1692
Rebecca Nurse was hanged on July 19

John Proctor was hanged on August 19

Martha Corey was hanged on September 2

Certain key people never appear in the play

Giles Corey was executed for refusing to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty

He was pressed to death over the course of two days

185 people accused
141 women accused 44 men accused
26 women convicted 5 men convicted
14 women hanged 5 men hanged
4 people died in jail

Full transcript