Definition•Actors play roles and present the storyline through dialogue, action, and gestures.
Dealing with Details•Unlike novels or short stories, plays have special features.•Plays are divided into acts and scenes.•Scripts feature lists of characters and stage directions which require the reader to pause and visualize the set up. •Readers and actors must pay close attention to the dialogue in order to understand the characters and action.
Important Terms•Monologue – an extended speech by one character.•Soliloquy – an extended speech by one character, alone on stage. Soliloquies are used to express the private thoughts of one character.•Aside – a character’s direct address to the audience, which is not heard by the other characters.
•Monologues, soliloquies, and asides are dramatic techniques that provide direct insight into motives, attitudes, and overall tone.•These techniques function like a fictional narrator.
Two Basic “Flavors”•TragedyTragedies treat serious subjects and often focus on the tragic hero’s character.