Instructor: Jason LinebergerShow bio

Jason has trăng tròn years of education experience including 14 years of teaching college literature.

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Dramatic Structure

In this lesson, you"ll learn about the structure of plays. But even if you haven"t seen a play before, you can already get the main point of the lesson by thinking about football. If you watch football on TV, there"s the pre-trò chơi, then the actual game, which is divided into four quarters, then the post-cuộc chơi where the commentators talk about what just happened. The same structure happens in plays. We just use different names for it, but the idea holds true - we lượt thích lớn structure our entertainment into lớn these specific categories. We want stuff before, during, & after. Want lớn learn how this works in plays? Keep watching!


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0:01 Dramatic Structure 0:47 The Prologue 1:37 The Acts 2:18 The Scenes 2:54 The Epilogue 3:57 Lesson Summary

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The Prologue

In a football broadcast, they usually have a pre-cuộc chơi. Commentators come on the screen & let you know what to lớn expect from the game you"re about to lớn watch. Plays that have a prologue vì the same thing. The prologue is the opening segment that introduces the rest of the play. Let"s look at a famous example.

Shakespeare"s famous play The Tragedy of Romeo & Juliet opens with 14 lines that set the scene. The first two lines are, "Two households, both alike in dignity,/ In fair Veromãng cầu, where we lay our scene," & these tell the audience that the play will be about two families of equal wealth who live in the đô thị of Verona. Just lượt thích the pretrò chơi, the prologue tells the audience what they should expect in the play.

The Acts

Football games are divided into lớn quarters và, in the same way, plays are divided inkhổng lồ acts. Each act is a major section of the play. Acts might be just ten minutes long, or they might be over an hour long.

Shakespeare usually wrote his plays in five sầu acts, & each act builds on the ones before it to lớn advance the story. One-act plays are short plays that only need one section to lớn tell their story. Typically, the opening act of the play introduces the characters và the problems they face. The middle acts further complicate the problems, và in the final act of the play, the problem is resolved.

The Scenes

Going bachồng lớn our football analogy, within each quarter, there are periods of time where the same players are on the field. When the drive ends, for whatever reason, the teams switch from offense khổng lồ defense & a mostly new phối of players take the field. In a play, we Điện thoại tư vấn these scenes. Scenes are the sections that 3D the acts. You know when scenes change because the phối of characters on stage change or the set might change to indicate that the characters are in a new place. Scenes tell small pieces of the overall story.

The Epilogue

In football, the post-game show happens after the game, and the commentators talk about what they learned from how the teams performed. In a play, this is called an epilogue. Epilogues are the part of a play that happens at the over after the main problem has been solved.

Going bachồng to Romeo & Juliet - spoiler alert - the main characters die in the kết thúc & the warring families get back together. Then the Prince, a minor character, tells the audience that some of the crimes that took place will be forgiven và others will be punished for their crimes. He ends the play by saying, "For never was a story of more woe/ Than this of Juliet and her Romeo." In other words, he concludes the play by saying, "You just watched the saddest play ever." Often the epilogue is delivered by a minor character or a narrator, but in all cases it"s done after the main problem has been solved, & it"s just extra information for the audience lớn help wrap things up.

Lesson Summary

There are four major parts to dramatic structure. Plays can begin with a prologue, the part of the play where the audience learns about what is about to lớn happen on stage. Then comes the acts. Plays can be as short as one act or can have sầu five sầu or more acts. Each act is broken inlớn scenes, và these scenes are little parts of the big story that"s being told. Scenes change when the mix of characters on stage change or their location changes. Finally, plays can end with an epilogue, which is a speech usually given by a narrator or minor character that happens after the main problem in the play has been solved. The epilogue serves lớn wrap up any loose ends from the plot.

Learning Outcomes

The main points of this lesson on dramatic structure could prepare you to:

Recognize the purpose of a prologue & epilogue Determine what happens during the opening, middle and final acts of a play Compare acts with scenes