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Shakespearean Drama Terms
Transcript of Shakespearean Drama Terms
To understand Shakespeare, you will have to learn the following terms.
Shakespeare wrote three types of plays. These types are called: comedies, histories, and tragedies.
Romeo and Juliet
is a tragedy
What's a "Tragedy"?
It is a drama that ends in catastrophe-
most often death- for the main
character and often several other
characters as well.
Spoiler Alert: Romeo and
Juliet die at the end
All Tragedies have what are called a TRAGIC HERO
A Tragic Hero is someone who is nobly born and who may have great influence on his or her society.
BUT this hero also has one or more fatal character flaws- weaknesses or a serious error in judgement- that will lead to his or her downfall (death).
Because tragedies ultimately end in sadness, Shakespeare includes COMIC RELIEF to lighten the mood
Comic Relief is a humorous scene, incident, or speech that relieves the overall emotional intensity
Looking closesly at Dramatic Conventions
Shakespeare makes use of several literary devices to make his plays realistic and interesting for his audiences.
A speech given by a character alone on stage
The purpose of this is to let the audience know what the character is thinking or feeling
A character's remark, either to the audience or to another characters, that others on stage do not hear
This also reveals the character's private thoughts
When the audience knows
more than the characters
This builds suspense
Shakespeare wrote his plays primarily in blank verse
Blank verse is the form of poetry that most resembles natural speech.
Blank verse is made up of unrhymed lines of iambic pentameter
Iambic pentameter is a type of meter that has five unstressed syllables, each followed by a stressed syllable
A reference, within a text, to something that the audience is expected to know
This picture is "alluding" to the story of Adam and Eve from the Creation story in the Bible. The idea is that most of us are familiar with the Bible so we should be able to understand why this snake is on an apple.