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Dramatic Conventions

Dramatic Conventions and Literary Terms relevant to Romeo & Juliet
by

Sarah McLeod

on 23 August 2013

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Transcript of Dramatic Conventions

IF YOU WANT TO SEE AN EXAMPLE ON HOW TO USE THIS TEMPLATE, PLEASE CHECK:
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Allusion
Act
Foil
Aside
Romeo says: "O heavy lightness! Serious vanity!
Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms!
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health!"
Oxymoron
Comic Relief
A form of drama based on human suffering, most often involving death and reversal of fortune.
Tragedy
Foreshadowing
An author's use of vivid and descriptive language to add depth to his or her work.
Imagery
Blank Verse
Dramatic Conventions Used by Shakespeare
Drama, Drama, Drama!
a figure of speech that makes a reference to, or a representation of, people, places, events, literary work, myths, or works of art, either directly or by implication.
An act is a division or unit of a drama. The number of acts in a production can range from one to five or more, depending on how a writer structures the outline of the story.
A character who contrasts with another character (usually the protagonist) in order to highlight particular qualities of the other character.
The inclusion of a humorous character, scene or witty dialogue in an otherwise serious work, often to relieve tension.
An author hints about certain plot developments that perhaps will come to be later in the story. Shakespeare uses explicit foreshadowing in the prologue stating that : "A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life"
Poetry written in unrhymed iambic pentameter.
Dramatic Conventions- the specific actions or techniques the actor, writer or director has employed to create a desired dramatic effect/style.
Scene
A scene includes the action that takes place in a single setting.
Each Act is made up of several scenes. You will hear us refer to different parts of the play as Act 2, Scene 3 or Act 4, Scene 2. This indicates which Act and also which Scene to communicate exactly which part of the play we are discussing.
The success of an allusion depends on at least some of its audience "getting" it.
act 3 scene 2:
Gallop apase, you fiery-footed steeds,
Toward Phoebus' lodging! Such a wagoner
As Phaeton would whip you to the West,
And bring in cloudy night immediately.

Phoebus is the god whose chariot pulls the sun across the sky; Phaeton was his son, who lost control of the chariot when he drove too fast. Basically, Juliet just wants it to be night.
A character speaks to the audience- usually a brief comment.
Mercutio can be seen as a foil to Romeo. Mercutio's realistic mindset highlights Romeo's dreamy, romantic thinking.
A figure of speech that combines contradictory terms
Shakespeare's Tragedies Include:
Antony and Cleopatra
Coriolanus
Hamlet
Julius Caesar
King Lear
Macbeth
Othello
Romeo and Juliet
Timon of Athens
Titus Andronicus
Personification
Metaphor
Simile
Giving human form or other characteristics to anything other than a human being
Examples: The sky was crying, the angry wind, selfish Time, etc.
Compares two objects or things without using the words "like" or "as."
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances; — William Shakespeare
Comparison between two objects or things using "like" or "as."
"Curley was flopping like a fish on a line." -John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men (remember this?)
Alliteration
The repetition of a consonant in any syllables that, according to the poem's meter, are stressed.
Example: Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers.
Theme
An idea or concept that is central to a story, which can often be summed in a single word (i.e., love, death, betrayal).
Symbol
A symbol is something that represents an idea, a process, or a physical entity. The purpose of a symbol is to communicate meaning.
Love, Passion, Beauty
Purity, Innocence, Peace
Character
A person in a narrative work of arts (such as a novel, play, television show/series, or film).
Romeo and Juliet were both characters in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
Setting
The historical moment in time and geographic location in which a story takes place.
"Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene"
Because there were few backdrops or props, Shakespeare used descriptive language filled with imagery to communicate the setting to the audience.
The word "iambic" describes the type of foot that is used (in English, an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable). The word "pentameter" indicates that a line has five of these "feet." We'll cover this in more detail later, but basically it has a "da-duh da-duh da-duh da-duh da-duh" rhythm.
Rhymed Couplets
A couplet is a pair of lines of meter in poetry. It usually consists of two lines that rhyme and have the same meter.
Shakespearean sonnets end with a couplet:
"And nothing 'gainst Time’s scythe can make defense
Save breed to brave him when he takes thee hence."
-Sonnet 12 we read yesterday.
Irony
An incongruity, or contrast, between reality (what is) and appearance (what seems to be).
Verbal Irony
An incongruity between what is said and what is meant.
Examples: as clear as mud,
as pleasant as a root canal, as relaxed as a coiled rattlesnake, etc.
Dramatic Irony
Dramatic Irony is an incongruity between what a character in a work of fiction believes to be true and what the audience knows to be true.
(Reader knows more!)
In The Lion King, Simba goes throughout the film until near its end believing that he was responsible for his father, Mufasa's, death. However, the audience knows that it was actually Simba's uncle Scar who killed Mufasa.
Monologue
Presented by a single character, most often to express their mental thoughts aloud, though sometimes also to directly address another character or the audience.
Soliloquy
(from Latin: "talking by oneself") is a device often used in drama when a character speaks to himself or herself, relating thoughts and feelings, thereby also sharing them with the audience.
Pun!
Uses word pairs which sound alike (homophones) but are not synonymous.
Example:
Mercutio- Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you dance.
Romeo- You have dancing shoes
With nimble soles. I have a soul of lead
So stakes me to the ground I cannot move.
Full transcript