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Dramatic Conventions

Dramatic Conventions and Literary Terms for Shakespeare

Lauren Anne

on 7 May 2015

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Transcript of Dramatic Conventions

Romeo says: "O heavy lightness! Serious vanity!
Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms!
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health!"
Comic Relief
A form of drama based on human suffering, most often involving death and reversal of fortune.
An author's use of vivid and descriptive language to add depth to his or her work.
Blank Verse
Dramatic Conventions Used in Cyrano
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.
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.
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
Julius Caesar
King Lear
Romeo and Juliet
Timon of Athens
Titus Andronicus
Stage Direction
Giving human form or other characteristics to anything other than a human being
Examples: The sky was crying, the angry wind, selfish Time, etc.
an instruction in the text of a play, especially one indicating the movement, position, or tone of an actor, or the sound effects and lighting.
a note with added information that is placed below the text on a printed page
The repetition of beginning consonant sounds in words next to or near each other.
Cyrano: "My nose is enormous, you snub-nosed,
The central message, concern, or purpose of a piece of writing . Communicates a “universal truth.”

anything that stands for or represents both itself and something else Symbols enhance and add new meaning.

Education, sin, beauty...
Purity, Innocence, Peace
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" from Romeo & juliet
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.
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: Regina George in Mean Girls
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.
Presented by a single character, most often to express their mental thoughts aloud, though sometimes also to directly address another character or the audience.
(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.
Uses word pairs which sound alike (homophones) but are not synonymous.
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.
From the Netflix series "House of Cards"
The success of an allusion depends on at least some of its audience "getting" it.
the way that an author presents a character and reveals traits

"Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy."
1 the Hotel de Bourgogne: A theater whose full name was the Theatre de l'hotel de Bourgogne, the word "hotel" being used here with its old meaning of "mansion" or "townhouse"
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.
[He weeps.]
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