CLASS: SENIOR ONE
UNIT I: INTRODUCTION TO LITERARY GENRES: FICTION AND NON-FICTION
UNIT II: INTRODUCTION TO PROSE: PLOT, SETTING & CHARACTERS
UNIT III: INTRODUCTION TO POETRY
UNIT IV: THEMES AND MESSAGES IN POETRY
UNIT V: LANGUAGE USE IN POETRY
UNIT VI: INTRODUCTION TO DRAMA
UNIT VII: KEY ASPECTS OF DRAMA
UNIT VII. KEY ASPECTS OF DRAMA
As we have seen it, drama is presented through dialogue and actions. Like a short story or a novel, drama has also plot, setting and characters as key aspects but the way they are presented is different because the short story or the novel are intended to be read unlike the play which meant to be performed in front of the audience.
VII.2. KEY ASPECTS
It is the arrangement of events and actions of a play in terms of cause and effect. Plot is how the events are connected leading to conflict. The conflict is either internal (in the mind of the character) or external (between individuals). The plot is a carefully designed, logical series of events having a beginning, a middle and an end.
The following are the parts/elements of a plot:
Exposition/introduction: It is the opening/beginning of a drama where the characters and setting are introduced to the audience. The main conflict is also introduced here.
It may involve some foreshadowing, which is a hint of what is likely to happen.
Rising action/conflict/complication/development: This is where the events in the play become complex and the conflict rises. A lot of tension and suspense are built in this part.
Climax/crisis: It is the turning point and highest point of interest, tension and suspense. It is when the main character has to make a decision that must resolve the main conflict of the play.
Falling action: At this stage the events and conflicts/complications begin to lead to the conclusion/end. The main character either loses or wins against the problem.
Resolution/denouement/conclusion: It is where the conflict is resolved. There is a sense of finality and conclusion. It is the end of the story. The character(s) might live happily ever after.
Setting refers to the social circumstances in which the events of a play occur, the historical time and the geographical location of the events. It is the point in time and location in which a play takes place.
The drama’s setting may include:
Time: It not only includes the historical period (past, present, or future) but also the specific year, month, time of day…
Ex: In Antiquity, during the 19thcentury, in 2019, by the end of December, on 2nd May 1992, at 7:00 P.M, …
Place: Place may involve not only the geographical place (a region, country, state, or town) but also the social economical or cultural environment.
Ex: In Africa, in Rwanda, at South-East Coast of California, in Kigali/Tokyo/Moscow, in a traditional African society, in urban environment…
Weather conditions: In the scene, the weather can be rainy, sunny or stormy.
In a play, setting is established in several ways:
–Notes from the playwright: The playwright might state clearly the setting.
Ex: The action takes place in a coastal town in southern Norway.
-Through the characters’ dialogues, costumes and behaviours.
-The stage sets: This is what the set designer arranges on stage.
Ex: The set may suggest that the characters are poor, or that is a palace or that it is a sea shore.
During the performance, the set may also include props and stage lighting.
-Through the stage directions: The playwright may use stage directions to let the readers or audience know where the action is taking place.
Characters are the people, animals or things that play a part or that are portrayed in a play. When characters are animals or things; they are personified (given human traits). In a drama, some characters might be referred to, but never seen on stage.
Characterization is the playwright’s presentation and development of the characters in a text. It is made better by use of suggestive/symbolic/revealing costume, suggestive names, manners of walking, dialect…and sometimes masks are used to enhance characterization.
The most important tool for the development of characters in a drama is dialogue (what they say and what is said about them).
Characters in a drama are of these types:
Major characters: Those are the characters that get the maximum stage time and dialogues. The plot’s conflict and resolution revolve around them.
Protagonist: A character that fights for something and that portrays good qualities
Antagonist: A character that opposes/challenges the protagonist.
Minor characters: They are characters that get less stage time and dialogues. They usually serve a smaller purpose than the major characters and serve to complement them.
Positive characters: These ones portray positive/good qualities like kindness, care, generosity, courage, honesty, compassion, empathy…in a drama
Negative characters: They portray negative/bad qualities like cruelty, hate, selfishness, shyness, greed…in a drama.
Usually the playwright provides a list of characters in a play. He/she says who they are and therefore actors are assigned roles using that list. That list is called “cast of characters”.
PROPRIETOR: The proprietor of Masomo Academy
PRINCIPAL: The principal of Masomo Academy.
CHRIS: The senior examination master.
MR BRAMUEL: The assistant examination master
CLEOPHAS: A pupil
AMANI: A pupil
INSPECTOR: A school inspector.
Achievers Literature in English for Rwandan Schools -Senior 1
An Introduction to Literature in English for Rwandan Schools -Senior 1
Achievers Literature in English for Rwandan Schools -Senior 2
Literature in English for Rwandan Schools -Senior 3
INTERNET: (Various websites)
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