LITERARY TERMS

Plot: The plot is the arrangement of the story of the play. The summary of the story line of the play is expected to be arranged orderly so as to avoid confusion – a story line is expected to have a beginning, the middle and an end.

Theme: This is also called subject matter. It is the central idea of the drama. All drama (whether tragedy, comedy or tragic – comedy) have messages they are passing across to the audience.

Character: These are the members of cast in drama actions; mood and dialogue are portrayed by the character. These are two types of character in a play. They are: – major character and minor characters. They can also be called round characters and flat characters.

Dialogue: This is also called language or diction. It is the major medium through which characters express their thought in words.

Setting: This refers to the place where the actions of a play take place. Examples of setting are;

  1. Physical Setting: market, village sequare, in the office, in the morning, in the night etc.
  2. Historical Setting: in the olden days or the present time.
  3. Social Setting: Types of social atmosphere like language, occupation, religion etc.

Conflict: This refers to opposition of characters or forces within a play resulting from divergent ideas and interest. Conflict is responsible for the development of dramatic action in a play. It goes without conflict because it project the theme of a ply. The actions of the character are therefore geared towards creating conflict and resolving same for the play to come to an end.

Dramatic Irony: Refers to incongruity between a situation developed in a drama and the accompanying words or action that understood by the audience but unknown to some of the characters in the play. Also called tragic irony.

Tragic Flaw: Every classical tragic hero is endowed with a tragic flaw, which eventually brings about his downfall despite his impressive credentials. The flaw could be in the form of uncontrollable anger for Odewale in Ola Rotimi’s, the Gods Are Not To Blame, or over ambition for Macbeth.

Comedy:  A drama with a generally light atmosphere leading to a happy ending. Examples Wole Soyinka’s The Lion and The Jewel.

Tragedy: A drama with a generally serious intense atmosphere leading to an unhappy ending. Exampls Ngugi’s The Black Hermit Femi Osofisan’s Women of Owu

Farce: Is a comedy of a lower kind in which believability is sacrifice for the main objective of exciting laughter. Example Zulu Sofola’s Wizard of Law

Tragic – Comedy: Is a play that combines the salient features of comedy and tragedy and tends towards a happy ending, usually with a great sense of relief after much anxiety.

Melodrama: Like the comic farce, melodrama is a play in which believability is sacrificed for the sake of sensational action and producing the shock effect. When tragedy becomes unrealistic or unconvincing. It becomes melodrama.

See also:

VOWEL SOUNDS

ESSAY WRITING

MEANING AND TYPES OF NOUN

THE VOWEL SOUNDS

STRUCTURE | Clauses – Subordinate and Insubordinate

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