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MYP International English: Literature

Drama Terminology

Act: a major division of a play Allusion: a reference in literature to a person, event, or literary work
Catastrophe: The concluding action of a drama, especially a classical tragedy, following the climax and containing a resolution of the plot.

Character: a person or thing in a story


Antagonist - is the person or thing working against the protagonist Dynamic one that undergoes some type of change because of the action in the plot Flat embodies one or two qualities, ideas, or traits that can be readily accessible to readers (could be stereotypes dumb blonde or evil stepmother) Main central character to the story/protagonist Minor - less important character in a literary work, but still is needed for explanation or development of plot Protagonist central character who engages the readers interest and empathy Round display inconsistencies and internal conflicts found in most real people Static one that doesnt change throughout the work, readers knowledge of character does not grow Tragic hero has the potential for greatness but is doomed to fail; trapped in a situation that cannot be won; makes some sort of tragic flaw, this causes fall from greatness; still wins a moral victory and spirit lives on

Characterization: creation of characters for a play or story Direct telling the audience/reader exactly what you want them to know about the characters (Killer is a really mean guy.) Indirect Showing the reader the character instead of telling the audience about the character

Chorus: the repetition of a line or phrase of a poem at regular intervals, especially at the end of a stanza
Climax: high point of story; is the turning point, and usually the most intense point in the story Comedy: literature with a love story at its core. The basic plot often develops as follows: an old, established society tries to prevent the formation of a new one (the union of a young couple). The young couple succeeds in the end. Human errors or problems may appear humorous

Conflict: the problem or struggle in a story that triggers the action. There are five basic types: person vs. person, person vs. society, person vs. self, person vs. nature, and person vs. fate/God Connotation: creating associations while also using explicit definitions Crisis: a high point in the conflict that leads to the turning point or climax Denotation: dictionary definition

Dialogue: the conversation carried on by the characters in a literary work


Epiphany: in fiction, when a character suddenly experiences a deep realization about himself or herself; a truth which is grasped in an ordinary rather than a melodramatic moment Exposition: writing or speaking that sets forth or explains; detailed explanation

Flashback: going back to an earlier time in a story for the purpose of making something present clearer Foil: character in a work whose behavior and values contrast with those of another character in order to highlight the distinctive temperament of that character (usually the protagonist)
Foreshadowing: to be a sign of something to come; indicate or suggest before hand

Gesture: anything done or said to convey a state of mind, intention, etc.; often something said or done merely for effect of as a formality
Imagery: the words or phrases a writer selects to create a certain picture in the readers mind, usually based on sensory detail

Irony: combination of circumstances or a result that is opposite of what is or might be expected or considered appropriate Dramatic where the reader/audience sees a characters mistakes or misunderstandings, but the character does not Situational there is a great difference between the purpose of a particular action and the result Verbal where the writer says one thing and means another

Metaphor: a figure of speech containing an implied comparison, in which a word or phrase ordinarily and primarily used of one is applied to another (all the worlds a stage)
Paradox: a statement that seems contrary to common sense, yet may, in fact, be true

Plot: the action or sequence of events in a story; contains 5 basic elements: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and denouement

Point of View: the vantage point from which the story is told
1st person where a central character or another minor character tells the story using I

3rd person where a voice outside of the story tells the story using he or she to describe the characters and actions
Limited/Objective Omniscient having infinite knowledge; knowing all things; usually in 3rd person

Repetition: the act of repeating something over and over again Satire: a literary work in which vices, follies, stupidities, abuses, etc. are held up to ridicule and contempt Scene: a division of a play, usually part of an act, in which conventionally the action is continuous and in a single place Simile: a comparison of two unlike things in which a word of companion (like or as) is used

Soliloquy: speech delivered by a character when he/she is alone on stage Symbol: person, place, thing, or event used to represent something else Theme: the statement about life a particular work is trying to get across Tone: the overall feeling, or effect, created by a writers words. May be serious, mock-serious, humorous, or satirical

Tragedy: a serious play or drama typically dealing with the problems of a central character, leading to an unhappy or disastrous ending