Week 2 Notes - 14:33 1 plot 2 character 3 thought 4...

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Understanding the Play 14:33 6 Elements of a play by Aristotle 1. plot 2. character 3. thought 4. language 5. music 6. spectacle Plot is… The organization of action of a play Not action An organizing principle Another term is “structure” Causal structure Linear plot indicates that one event leads to the next; causal (or cause-to-effect) plot  indicates that one event causes the next At the heart of causal structure is conflict between opposing forces Conflict of character Conflict of morals Conflict of ideas Fretag’s triangle Point of attack: the point in the story at which the playwright chooses to start  dramatizing the action
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A play with an early point of attack is episodic When a play has a late point of attack most events of the story have already happened a.i.1. Exposition/introduction: creates a situation in which an  uneasy balance in forces exist a.i.2. Inciting incident: an event that destroys the uneasy balance  and sets off the major conflict of forces a.i.3. Rising action: small units of action that build in intensity form a.i.4. The climax: the emotional high point of the action; the  conflict has reached to critical stage a.i.5. Falling action: events from the climax until the end Many plays don’t fit this mold Discovery: occurs when something is found, learned, or realized during the action of the  play Object A piece of information Discoveries a character makes about themselves, or about the nature of the human  experience Reversal: when a line of action veers around suddenly to its opposite Cliff hanger: stops at the cliff hanger and leaves you Flashbacks: scenes that dramatize events that occurred in the story prior to the point of  attack Repetition as structure: an event, action, or line of dialogue may be repeated with or  without variations and provide a kind of unity for the play Poststructuralism: post WWII Dramatic work that breaks down traditional causal  structure Character Refers to the persons that are created to perform the action of the play An element of drama most people find easiest to understand An accomplished playwright will develop a character only to the extent needed to fulfill  its action in the play
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Protagonist: the central character, we usually learn a great deal about this person Character credibility Information about character is given in three basic ways What the characters say about themselves What others say about them What they do Levels of characterization Biological traits: species and sex of the character Physical traits: include stature, height, weight, eye color, and facial hair.  Sometimes a  physical trait is central to a character’s personality
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Week 2 Notes - 14:33 1 plot 2 character 3 thought 4...

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