DRAMA-MEANING, AIMS, TYPES, CHARACTERISTICS AND ELEMENTS OF DRAMA.
MEANING OF DRAMA: Drama is said to be traced to the appearance of man on earth. It has to do with rituals, ceremonies like birth, burials, harvest and other religious festival like worshipping gods. The modern drama can be traced to ancient Greece. It can be defined as a composition representing life and actions usually intended for performances by living actors and actresses. Drama is best appreciated when it is acted on stage. The characters are often referred to as dramatis personae.
AIMS OF TEACHING DRAMA: The aims of teaching drama are:
To relate drama to life/human experience and the motive behind human actions.
To examine the inter-relationship and the difference between action in real life and action in drama.
To examine the difference between plot and story.
To introduce and develop ‘’acting’’ in sketches.
To analyse the use of language in drama- the way the characters speak.
TYPES OF DRAMA: The following are the types of drama.
Tragedy : It is a play which has an unhappy ending. The hero/heroine must have flaws that can be the result of arrogance and attracts sympathy and pity e.g.’’ The Blood of A stranger” by Dele Charley.
Tragi-comedy: It is the combination of tragedy and comedy. In the beginning, the hero/heroine may passed through hardship and survive at last. E.g. “ A Raisin in the Sun’’ by Lorraine Hansberry.
Melodrama: It is a type of drama which is full of sensation, events and exaggerated characters that often have a happy ending e.g. ‘’She stop to Conquered’’ by Oliver Goldsmith.
Comedy: This is an imitation of characters of lower form. It consists incidence or things which are not serious or dangerous. It begins happily and ends happily. For example ‘’Papa Ajasco and his Family’’. A television series by Wale Adenuga production.
Mime: The actors and actresses use facial expressions and gestures to act stories and reveal their thought to the audience.
Farce: It is after called comedy of humour. The events are exaggerated to be real and spectators are made to shed tears as result of laughter from the beginning to the end. Characters in farce are often seen to be serious and unbelievable.
Ballet : It is when actors/actresses use dance to act a story or relate events in orderly form. It is also known as dance drama. E.g. chorographic plays.
Satire: It is a kind of play that ridicules human follies, events, organizations, places and things. In satire, efforts are usually made to attack human mistakes or vices to change it. E.g. ‘’Harvest of Corruption’’ by Frank Ogbeche Ogodo.
CHARACTERISTICS OF DRAMA: Drama has the following features or characteristics:
It is generally written in acts and scenes.
It is meant to be acted on stage.
It is acted by people who are referred to as actors and actresses or casts. The casts put on clothes that are called costumes.
Drama is acted before audience or spectators.
ELEMENTS OF DRAMA: The following are the elements of drama:
Dialogue: It is a conversation between two actors or actresses in a play. The intention of a character can be known through dialogue.
Action: This can be referred to the process of doing something in a play. What an actor or actress is expected to do.
Comic relief: It is a moment of laughter in a serious play. It is introduced to relieve tension in a play after much violence.
Soliloquy: This is an ct of talking to oneself alone without the presence of other characters when a play is going on. It is also used to reveal or expose speaker’s mind. It is direct address to an absent person. It is only one person that speaks.
Aside: These are words spoken on stage that other persons on stage are not supposed to hear. It is in form of whispering.
Suspense: It is when anxiety or curiousity is created in the mind of the readers or spectators to know the subsequent event in a play or la novel [foreshadowing]
Prologue: It is an opening speech in a play or any literary work. It gives an idea of what to readers should expect.
Epilogue: An epilogue is a closing remark or summary of a play or novel. It always come immediately after all acts or scenes. It is referred to as closing remark.
Conflict/crisis: It is the point where the opposing forces that make the play join together and help to decide where the plot will turn to.
Denouement/resolution: This is when the crisis, disagreement, complications, problems are resolved. The misunderstanding in a play or story are made known and settled.
Protagonist: It is the leading actor/actress in a play. All other forces are working towards the protagonist positively or negatively.
Antagonist: It is the character that is opposing the protagonist. The lead oppose is called the antagonist.
Dramatic empathy: This is when readers or spectators share the suffering or feeling of the tragic hero/heroine in a play.
Flash back: It is to refer to an event that has happened in a play before a new one.
Chorus : In drama, a chorus character serves as a commentator who comments on the character in a play. Information about a character is given through chorus.
Stage director: It is one who sees to the orderly movement of actions on stage.
Act and Scene: Act is the major division in the action of a play. Acts is used in modern plays to denotes units of action[s] where there is no change or break in the continuity of time. Scene is the division of an act in a play. It is the sequence arrangement of act. Scenes may be short or long.