Literary Terms for Drama

characters
a person or animal who takes part in the action of a literary work

conflict
a struggle between opposing forces

plot
sequence of events in a literary work

resolution
conflict is resolved and in which a general insight may conveyed

dialogue
a conversation between characters that may reveal their traits and advance the action of a narrative

script
or text of a play contains dialogue and stage directions

stage directions
notes telling how the work is to be performed or staged

sets
represent or simulate the place where the scene is set

props
moveable objects that actors use onstage

tragic hero
main character–an outstanding person brought low by a tragic flaw

tragic flaw
a mistaken action or defect in character; weakness and leads to downfall

catharsis
calming release of tension in the audience

chorus
group of performers that sang, danced, and commented on events

imagery
sensory language reinforce themes of the play…creates word pictures for 5 senses

comedy
ends happily after a series of predicaments, but not always necessarily funny

monologue
character speaks at length to silent listeners…long speech and talks to others onstage

aside
character briefly expresses to audience private thoughts that other characters onstage cannot hear

prologue
exposition that presented background on the conflict

parados
opening song sung by chorus

odes
divided scenes

paean
final song of thanksgiving to Dionysus

exodos
final scene

choragos
leader of chorus (voice of reason)

strophe
group rotates from right to left singing a verse

antistrophe
moves opposite way and answers the strophe

epode
stanza that follows strophe and antistrophe

protagonist
main character in the play

antagonist
person or force in conflict with protagonist

myth
tales of the adventures of heroes both real and imaginary, and of the gods and goddesses of ancient Greek religion

origin
the beginning of something…in Greek mythology people wanted to know their________ so they asked questions such as why is there suffering and death?