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Levels of Dialogue: Text, Context, and Subtext

Creative Writing: Drama Unit

Derek Green

on 12 March 2013

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Transcript of Levels of Dialogue: Text, Context, and Subtext

Text, Context, Subtext Levels of Dialogue A conversation between a
father and his daughter... Example: DAD: Are you ready?
GIRL: Just a minute. (long pause) Okay, let's go. Text: The words the characters say Context: a dad comes to get his daughter to go to the mother's funeral. Context: the situation in which the characters are speaking DAD: Are you ready? (I don't want to go to this funeral. Are you okay?)
GIRL: Just a minute. (I'm trying to be strong) Okay. Let's go. (I just want to get this over with.) Subtext: What the characters mean, think, or feel without explicitly stating it. (GIRL sits at her desk, holding a framed picture of a woman. She touches the glass delicately. DAD enters, dressed in a dark overcoat, damp tissues in hand. GIRL hurriedly puts the photograph back on her desk.)
DAD: Are you ready?
GIRL: Just a minute. (She turns her back to him, wipes her eyes, and adjusts her hair, not really seeing her reflection in the mirror. A beat.) Okay. Let's go. (Exeunt.) When you put it all together...
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